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Pacific Art takes Another Look at White and Black

Pacific Art takes Another Look at White and Black

A new exhibition of Pacific artists is inviting people to take another look at the contrast of white and black, the personal expression of identity and wider issues of race and ethnicity.

‘Flat White, Black Pearl’ is being shown in Auckland as part of the month-long Celebrate Pasifika festival. Atypical of your usual expectation of Pacific culture in the visual arts, it will only feature works that are in black and white.

With almost 50 artists participating in the show, there are bound to be a few surprises about how the artists have chosen to express their ‘colour’ and cultural identity when confined to neutral tones.

“Work has been selected because it is black and/or white, or shades of grey,” explains Jim Vivieaere who has curated the exhibition along with Leeane Clayton, herself an emerging artist and first-time curator.

While the curators concentrate on creating the physical and intellectual experience of the exhibition, the artists determine their own views on issues of race and identity as Pacific artists.

In ‘Flat White, Black Pearl’, although there may be a “colour bar” on the artwork - limited to shades of black, white and grey - there are no limits as to how innovative, expressive, white or black, ordinary or gorgeous the artists choose to be.

The exhibition runs from 1 - 22 March at Te Karanga Gallery on Karangahape Road, Auckland. This exhibition is a Tautai initiative, supported by funding from Creative Communities and part of Auckland City Council’s Celebrate Pasifika 2008.

Notes to media:

Jim Vivieaere has had a long and illustrious career as an artist, curator and commentator. Particularly remembered for his exhibition ‘Bottled Ocean’ which was the first survey exhibition of Pacific Island contemporary art.

Leeane Clayton is an emerging Pacific Island artist and first-time curator.

Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust was established in the 1980s to mentor and support contemporary Pacific art and artists. As a charitable trust it continues to pursue its goals through promoting and providing profile to Pacific heritage artists and their work. It operates on the understanding that the artists remain independent of Tautai and come together through the Tautai connection to participate in art events.

For more information please visit these websites:


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