Oceania: An unprecedented glimpse into the soul of the Pacific

8 June 2011

Oceania, an exhibition celebrating the vibrant cultural and artistic life of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific region, will be displayed at both Te Papa and City Gallery Wellington from 6 August through to 6 November 2011.

Oceania is a landmark collaborative project between Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and City Gallery Wellington of two distinct but complementary exhibitions which provide international visitors with a wide-ranging experience of art and culture,” said Michael Houlihan, Chief Executive, Te Papa.

Paula Savage, Director of City Gallery Wellington, says, “Oceania explores the richness of Maori, Pacific and European art and culture and their points of connection and influence, the exhibition will reflect Aotearoa New Zealand's position as a cultural hub of Polynesia and will offer an unprecedented glimpse into the soul of this region.”

Oceania: Early Encounters at Te Papa will give visitors, especially international visitors, a wide-ranging experience of the art and rich material culture of Maori and Pacific peoples and the interactions and influences between Maori, Pacific and European cultures. The exhibition will explore ways in which exchanges of technology, materials, knowledge, and belief systems have shaped visual cultures within Oceania, and informed the way that the people and land of the region were conceived and communicated to Britain and Europe.

City Gallery’s exhibition Oceania: Imagining the Pacific will offer a view of modern and contemporary art which explores what it means to live in this part of the world. The show boasts a stellar collection of artists, including work by Sofia Tekela-Smith, Bill Culbert, Shigeyuki Kihara, Robin White, Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere, Mathias Kauage, Greg Semu and Robyn Kahukiwa. Key pieces by these artists and other emblematic artworks in Imagining the Pacific consider both past histories and contemporary realities, and invite the audience to experience the artistic and imaginative potential which characterises this region.

6 August–6 November 2011
Admission charges apply.

Media contact

Roxan Mathys, Communications Assistant
029 645 6370 or 04 381 7083