The Radiance of Shadows

Black and White Art of the Solomon Islands


Art works from the Solomon islands, an archipelago formed of some 900 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, are strikingly sober.

Their solemn beauty intrigues, drawing the eye like a magnet.
Whatever the materials used (vegetable fibres, wood, shells, tortoise shell, ivory) or the technique employed (sculpture, drawing, painting, braiding), the desired effect is always the same: create a contrast to reveal a radiance.

In what circumstances are radiance and its consequence, glare, clues? What properties are these effects invested with? Through which techniques and rituals do Solomon Islanders produce such remarkable visual displays?

Anthropologists and art historians specialists in the region present their latest research on these questions asked in the exhibition 'The Radiance of Shadows: Black and White Art of the Solomon Islands' at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.


224 pages • 22 x 28 cm • 180 illustrations • paperback • €39
Joint publication musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac / Somogy éditions d'Art Paris 2014
ISBN: 9782757208052