What's Next | Oceania at Musée du Quai Branly

 
Canoe prow figure Nguzunguzu; wood, pigments, resin, shell; 16,5 x 9 x 15,5 cm; Marovo Lagoon, New Georgia Archipelago, Solomon Islands; collection Eugen Paravicini 1929. (PHOTO: Derek Li Wan Po; 2013; all rights reserved)

Canoe prow figure Nguzunguzu; wood, pigments, resin, shell; 16,5 x 9 x 15,5 cm; Marovo Lagoon, New Georgia Archipelago, Solomon Islands; collection Eugen Paravicini 1929. (PHOTO: Derek Li Wan Po; 2013; all rights reserved)

 

OCEANIA

 

March 12, 2019 - July 7, 2019

A journey across the Pacific to discover the island cultures and peoples of Oceania. From New-Guinea to Easter Island, from Hawaii to New Zealand, nearly 200 works provide an overview of the art of an immense area, embracing both traditions and contemporary challenges.

Not a single exhibition anywhere in the world has encompassed the cultures of Oceania in their entirety for thirty-five years. Oceania pays homage - two hundred and fifty years after the first voyage of James Cook in the Pacific - to the artistic creations of a vast region composed of 25,000 islands. In bringing together 170 works from public and private collections, featuring several masterpieces that have never previously been presented to the general public, the exhibition charts the history, from antiquity to the contemporary era, of a corpus of art that serves as a custodian of traditions and identities that have been impacted by trade, colonisation and forced evangelism.

Across this vast, scattered territory, in which each archipelago, island and land has managed to preserve its own unique characteristics, artists nonetheless share universal questions, issues and reflections.

Featuring painstakingly sculpted canoes, jade ornaments, ritual figures and contemporary videos and installations, Oceania reveals how tradition and ancestral memory coexist with the visionary and sometimes critical perspectives that these artists have of their societies and the rest of the world.

This exhibition is organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, with Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris, and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of Cambridge.

 
 
 

Exhibition Preview

 
 

Ahu ula (feather cloak) belonging to Liholoho, Kamehameha II, Early 19th century. Feathers, fibre, painted barkcloth (on reverse). 207 cm Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge (PHOTO: Royal Academy of Arts & University of Cambridge)

 
 

Feather god image (akua hulu manu), Late 18th century, Hawaiian Islands. Fibre, feathers, human hair, pearl shell, seed, dog teeth, 62 x 30 cm. (PHOTO: The Trustees of the British Museum)

Tene Waitere, Tā Moko panel, 1896-99. (PHOTO: The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa)

Tooi [Tuai], Drawing of Korokoro's moko, 1818. Paper, 30 x 50 cm. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries. (PHOTO: Royal Academy of Arts & Auckland Libraries)