The exhibition poster shows a canoe figurehead, western Solomon Islands, 19th century. Wood, mother-of-pearl. Donation, Prince Roland Bonaparte, inv. 71.1887.67.7 © musée du quai Branly, photo Claude Germain.

Find the exhibition on Twitter

L’Éclat des ombres

Black-and-white art from the Solomon Islands

Affiche de l'exposition "L'Éclat des ombres, l'art en noir et blanc des Îles Salomon" - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
Exhibition poster "L'Éclat des ombres, l'art en noir et blanc des Îles Salomon"

from tuesday 18 november 2014 to sunday 1 february 2015


  • Magali Mélandri, Head of the Oceania collections at the musée du quai Branly.

scientific advisor

  • Sandra Revolon, ethnologist, Université Aix-Marseille – CREDO

Exhibition preview

About the exhibition

Composed of 12 principal islands (among 900 in total), the Solomon archipelago's groups demonstrate a wide variety of cultural trends. From these islands, we know the emblematic works such as war canoe figureheads, reliquaries, feather coins and weapons.

When regarding the traditional artefacts of the islands, even the uninitiated visitor perceives the visual effects of the polished shells transformed into personal ornaments and coins, the contrasts between the bright surface of the mother-of-pearl, the shiny surface of the coral and the dark wood covered in resin or charcoal which are a stylistic characteristic shared by the whole Solomon archipelago.

This play of visual contrasts refers to a large number of cultural references and constitutes the guiding thread that runs through the exhibition. Examining the western and eastern provinces and the Polynesian enclaves in the archipelago, the exhibition thus presents the way in which the technical and visual characteristics of the objects depict the relationships between humans and between humans and supernatural beings.

Partenaires médias