Friday, December 10, 2010

Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands at Bowers Museum

Photographer Chris Rainier guest curates this ongoing exhibition of art from the South Pacific at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Spanning the geographic region collectively referred to as Oceania, this comprehensive exhibition highlights masterworks from the three cultural regions of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Particular focus is placed on New Guinea, land of the headhunter, and the rich artistic traditions infused into daily and ritual life. 
The exhibition includes more than 150 unique pieces including larger than life masks, objects associated with the secretive Sepik River men's house, magic figures and tools of the shaman, spectacular-crafted personal adornments, weapons of warfare, stunning shell and feather currency, masterfully crafted feast bowls, and the most precious of human trophies taken in retribution and reverence. 
Melanesia, which includes the world's second largest island, New Guinea, is an island that has been explored by Bowers Museum President Peter Keller and Bowers Board Member Edwards Roski on 10 month-long expeditions over the last decade. 
"Oceania is significant for Californians since it is our neighbor and is an area where there is still much to be learned," Mr. Keller says. "This is part of our strategic plan to build a significant Oceania collection in an area of the world where we can make a difference."
This comprehensive exhibition will become a permanent exhibit at Bowers Museum. 
Source: Bowers Museum website

No comments: