Young artists to challenge seductive Pacific stereotypes

24 Jan 2012

This content is tagged as Multi-Artform .


A new exhibition, 'The Anatomy of Paradise' will challenge romantic stereotypes of Pacific nations being tropical, carefree, utopias filled with meek, bronzed, island maidens.

A lively new Auckland exhibition, The Anatomy of Paradise will challenge romantic Western stereotypes of Pacific nations being tropical, carefree, utopias filled with meek, bronzed, island maidens. 


Opening on 21 February at Artstation, Ponsonby The Anatomy of Paradise will feature emerging Pacific artists including photographer Tanu Gago, performance artists Nastashia Simeona and Kalisolaite ‘Uhila, multi-media artists Ahilapalapa Rands, Vaimaila Urale and Darcell Apelu. Artist talks and live performances on Saturday 25 February will feature in the exhibition programme which is supported by Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust.


Exhibition curator, 2011 co-host of TVNZ’s Tagata Pasifika, Angela Tiatia says, “we will use the body to express ideas of identity and examine what it means to have your identity interpreted by someone else”.  Ms Tiatia explains, “the aim is to present identity as fluid, a mix of circumstances and a construct of the multiple worlds all of us live in”.


Inspired by a 1947 book which questioned the period’s artistic representation of the South Pacific, the exhibition will consider how the modern Pacific identity is shaped through spirituality, risk, community, health, fear, loss, sexuality, politics, technology and economics.   


Coinciding with the Pasifika Festival 2012, the world’s largest Pacific event of its kind, Ms Tiatia sees an important opportunity to showcase emerging Pacific contemporary artists to a large, new audience.


“We need alternative voices and art forms among largely heritage arts displays. We want to expose audiences to new and emerging ideas of Pacific identities, to stir debate and a new way of seeing ourselves. This is a chance to reflect the modern Pacific community to itself, as well as other communities who share the same passion for understanding and the arts.”


The Anatomy of Paradise opens on Tuesday 21 February and runs until Saturday 10 March 2012.


For media inquiries please contact:

Angela Tiatia, exhibition curator

Sydney based until her arrival in Auckland, New Zealand 18 February - 22 February.

+0061 4000 66 555  (Sydney mobile - two hours behind New Zealand time)