We were so glad to have been invited to experience the Museum of Anthropology’s vibrant new exhibition Paradise Lost? Contemporary Works from the Pacific, alongside five of the exhibition’s participating artists. Dr. Carol Mayer lead a guided walkthrough of the exhibition, offering a wealth of knowledge about how this exhibition in Vancouver helps us to further understand the culture, art, and politics of the South Pacific in a contemporary context. During her career, Carol worked collaboratively with artists, community members and scholars in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. She has curated more than forty exhibitions and is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships.

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. July 24 to September 29, 2013 at MOA.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.

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.

MOA. A place of extraordinary architectural beauty. A place of provocative programming and vibrant, contemporary exhibitions. A place of active exploration and quiet contemplation. A place of world arts and cultures. A place for you.

The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is world-renowned for its collections, research, teaching, public programs, and community connections. It is also acclaimed for its spectacular architecture and unique setting on the cliffs of Point Grey.

To extend our role as public and research institution, we have just completed a major expansion and renewal project, creating amazing new opportunities for research, teaching, and public enjoyment. Visit us soon, and visit us often – there’s always something new to experience at MOA!

To inspire understanding of and respect for world arts and cultures.

MOA will become one of the world’s principal hubs for exhibition, teaching, and research of international visual, intangible, and performative culture, and critical and collaborative museology. It will provide a transformative environment for visitors to learn about themselves and others, and to consider contemporary and historical events and issues from multiple perspectives. It will enhance its international profile while working locally, maintaining and strengthening its focus on First Nations peoples of British Columbia as well as diverse cultural communities. It will embrace interdisciplinarity and champion collaboration. It will provide innovative and imaginative exhibits and programs, and encourage full academic and student participation while promoting UBC’s values, commitments, and aspirations.

Inspiration – inspiring curiosity about world arts and cultures
Innovation – questioning, experimenting, exploring, and challenging boundaries in ways that advance a civil society and promote intercultural understanding
Inclusiveness – providing a welcoming environment, where learning and exchange of ideas is supported within and across disciplines
Community – building and sustaining relationships with diverse communities by encouraging their active engagement and honouring their contributions to our shared society
Stewardship – acquiring, caring for, and displaying cultural objects to the highest professional standards
Service – serving the individuals, communities, publics, and partners we work with in ways that benefit them directly

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