19 Nov 2019 08 Mar 2020


The First Modern Artist of the Pacific

This exhibition presents two sides of Somuk, a unique character of the Pacific: the paragon of an outsider artist for followers of Jean Dubuffet, and a political leader for the inhabitants of his region.

About the exhibition

Praised in his village in the north of the Solomon Islands in the 1930s, Somuk drew the attention of the Parisian post-war intelligentsia through the writings of Father Patrick O’Reilly. He was then forgotten, except in Gagan, his home village, where he was raised to the status of a demiurgic after his death.

The recent acquisition of an album of photographs compiled by Father Patrick O’Reilly has provided a chance to present the work of one the Pacific’s major artists, to shed light on the context in which these drawings were produced and to explore different interpretations of them. The exhibition first touches on the societies of Bougainville Island in which Somuk grew up and, in parallel, the many commissions for drawings from missionaries and anthropologists of the time. It goes on to explore the uniqueness of his work, before focusing on his legacy today. The exhibition comes to a close by evoking one of the darkest chapters in the Pacific’s modern history: the Bougainville Civil War.

This exhibition is associated with the International Year of Indigenous Languages ​​organized by Unesco.

  • Curator:

    • Nicolas Garnier, Head of the Oceania Heritage Unit at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, Paris.
  • Place:   Atelier Martine Aublet
  • TimeSlots:  
    From Tuesday 19 November 2019 at Sunday 08 March 2020
  • Closed on monday
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday:  10:30 am-07:00 pm
    Thursday:  10:30 am-10:00 pm
  • Accessibility:
    • Handicap moteur
  • Public:   All publics
  • Categorie : Exhibitions
  • Museum ticket entrance
    Full price:  14,00 €
    Reduce rate:  11,00 €

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