Art of the Pacific

NGV Collection Focus

Free entry

NGV International

Level 3, Temporary Exhibitions

26 Mar 16 – 21 Aug 16

This exciting collection display showcases the amazing arts and diverse cultures of the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, across time, place and space. It reveals new ways of thinking about its continuous history and its dynamic transformation in the face of enormous social change. This collection display honours the customary shields, figurative sculptures and masks that inspired the European avant-garde to invent new forms of Modernism. It also unveils a dynamic range of body ornaments in customary and digital media, encompassing contemporary Polynesian lei, headdresses and jewellery, barkcloths and photographs of Samoan tatau.

The arts of the Pacific are part of a global art world and one that is far closer geographically to Australia than Asia, Europe or North America. Pacific Islander artists, whether working in their home countries, or in settler colonies in a state of diaspora, are exposed to all kinds of visual and technological media and embrace modern mediums of painting on canvas, printmaking, photography, video and installation.

This Collection display does not kowtow to the chronological paradigm but constantly shifts across time and place and the specificity of cross cultural encounters, collections and art forms that bear witness to different contexts, philosophies and happenings.

Art of the Pacific includes the work of a number of prominent contemporary Pacific Islander and New Zealand artists, notably Fiona Pardington, Reuben Patterson, Brett Graham, Peter Robinson, Greg Semu, Chris Charteris, Graham Fletcher, Daniel Boyd, Francis Upritchard, Yvonne Todd, Taloi Havini and Angela Tiatia whose work appears alongside that of artists working in Vanuatu, Oro Province, The Highlands, West Papua, Samoa, Tonga and the Torres Strait.