In the 1930s, Polynesian-themed bars and restaurants began to appear in America while the stereotypes of the beachcomber and the sexy vahine were popularised in literature and on the big screen. With the appearance of the Tiki aesthetic in the 1950s, this style became a genuine way of life. A very liberal adaptation of the original Polynesian idols, Tiki imagery was produced in traditional and modernist forms and pervaded everyday life. Through nearly 450 works, photographs, films, musical recordings and archive documents, a new exhibition at the Musée du Quai Branly entitled Tiki Pop. L'Amérique rêve son paradis polynésien (Tiki Pop: America Imagines its Polynesian Paradise) bears witness to this infatuation-cum-lifestyle. A huge array of period items and ephemera are presented in the installation alongside authentic tribal works, including Maori tekoteko sculptures, Tongan kava bowls, and more.
View the exhibition's official website.
Images courtesy of the Musée du Quai Branly