10 ans de l’exposition kanak l’art est une parole

1 020 FCFP 8,55 €



A decade of artistic dialogue

The Musée du Quai Branly opened its doors to Kanak culture through an exhibition which was

held from October 15, 2013 to January 22, 2014. Described as the richest and most complete

in recent years, it highlighted Kanak art and its deep cultural and spiritual significance. The

exhibition brought together more than 300 works and documents, including many previously

unpublished pieces.

Emmanuel Kasarhérou, president of the Quai Branly Museum-Jacques-Chirac and former

director of the New Caledonia Museum, as well as Roger Boulay, then project manager at the

Directorate of Museums of France and specialist in Kanak collections, are both curators of the


They thus crossed paths to embody, through an exhibition, the thoughts and values of an oral

culture which gives a central place to speech. These two experts collaborated on the project

to inventory dispersed Kanak heritage and organized the exhibition “Jade and mother-of-pearl,

Kanak cultural heritage” in 1990, which was presented in Nouméa then in Paris.


Between tradition and innovation

The exhibition “Kanak: art is a message” presents ancestral art through two complementary

perspectives. On the one hand, traditional works of art rich in cultural meanings, such as

sculptures and ceremonial objects imbued with ancestral symbols and rituals. On the other

hand, the highlighting of a new generation of contemporary Kanak artists who merge with skill,

custom and modernity.


Kanak art in international expression

The proposed reinterpretation created a fertile dialogue between the artists and the works

presented. By taking advantage of Kanak aesthetics and interpretations, artists from other

horizons have engaged in a transcultural exchange that unites artistic universes beyond

cultural borders, but also those of time

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