The Pacific Islands occupy a place in the Western imagination as a paradise filled with idyllic beaches and lush, tropical landscapes inhabited by dusky maidens. With historical precedents in the accounts of European explorers, these perceptions were later re-invented and popularized by Hollywood films in the 1920s through the ’50s. Contemporary artists from the Pacific Islands frequently play with and invert such perceptions, and their work provides an alternate, more complex vision of the region.
Paradise Lost? Contemporary Works from the Pacific features works by artists from Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Working in video, installation, sculpture, painting and photography, the artists show the Pacific Islands from an insider’s perspective. Their artworks explore environmental concerns, cultural heritage issues, questions relating to the experience of migration and diaspora, and the intersection of Indigenous belief systems and Western religions.
The artists featured are George Nuku, Te Rongo Kirkwood, Greg Semu, Pax Jakupa Jr., Michael Timbin, Tom Deko, Cathy Kata, Shigeyuki Kihara, Ralph Regenvanu, Rosanna Raymond, Moses Jobo, Eric Natuoivi and David Ambong.
Curator: Carol E. Mayer.