The Arts of Oceania gallery reopen with the presentation of a new temporary exhibition, Islands Beyond Blue: Niki Hastings-McFall and Treasures from the Oceania Collection. This presentation showcases the work of celebrated contemporary artist Niki Hastings-McFall, who will create site-specific work in conversation with works from the DAM’s Arts of Oceania collection.
Hastings-McFall, who is of Sāmoan and Pākehā descent, has been credited with shepherding contemporary Pacific art onto an international stage. Known for her large-scale and immersive "lei bombing" installations, she will use hundreds of synthetic lei to create an installation. Her work will be presented in dialogue with approximately 30 treasures—Pacific Peoples prefer the term "treasures" over "objects"—from the DAM's collection that illustrate regional historic arts alongside new innovations.
This inaugural exhibition aims to dispel romantic notions of the Pacific Islands as a tourist’s paradise through a nuanced exploration of the area’s vibrant cultural landscape, challenging visitors to examine their perception of this vast and extremely diverse region.
A full reinstallation of the Arts of Oceania galleries, opening in 2024, will further highlight the museum’s holdings of approximately 1,000 treasures that represent the vast artistic heritage of Oceania.
Credit: Overview from museum website