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Art and the Body: exploring the role of clothing in Fiji (Fiji Museum)

19/3/2014 - 18/5/2014



Official Opening of the Exhibition Art and the Body: Exploring the Role of Clothing in Fiji

takes place at the Fiji Museum (19/03/2014)

The collaborative Fijian Art project-Fiji Museum temporary exhibition Art and the Body: Exploring the Role of Clothing in Fiji opened this week in Suva. The exhibition is arranged in four sections which highlight connections between clothing and the human body: Clothing and gender, Clothing and power, Clothing and performance, and Clothing transformed. Special clothing was, and is, used for those involved in important rites of passage, such as birth, important birthdays, initiation, chiefly installation, marriage and death. Clothing and body adornments are worn to express status and sau (power). They are therefore made of valuable materials, such as masi (barkcloth), whale ivory and shell. The exhibition follows a chronological order with a focus on key moments in Fijian history, such as the arrival of missionaries in the 1830s-40s, and the signing of the Deed of Cession in 1874 when Fiji became a British colony. Photographs by Rob Wright and Steven Hooper are included to show events in the 1940-50s and 1970-80s. The exhibition ends with a focus on dynamic developments in clothing and fashion today.

Above: The completed exhibition photographed in panorama (photo: Bethany Matai Edmunds). Below: The completed Clothing & Gender case, featuring fine quality masi, rare shell pendants, ear ornaments and other treasures (photo: Karen Jacobs).



Installation of the Exhibition Art and the Body: Exploring the role of Clothing in Fiji

Has Begun at the Fiji Museum

The Fijian Art Project team is honoured to collaborate with the Fiji Museum in curating the upcoming exhibition Art and the Body: Exploring the role of Clothing in Fiji. This show will celebrate indigenous Fijian clothing and body ornaments. The Fijian Art project's Karen Jacobs, Katrina Talei Igglesden and project associate Rosanna Raymond, are installing the exhibition with the assistance of Fiji Museum staff. The exhibition will give the visitor a glimpse of the wealth of valuables that the Fiji Museum looks after.

Above, L-R: Roxy, Mereia, Sakiusa and Katrina installing masi in one of the Clothing and power cases. Below: The wealth of ivories in the Fiji Museum left the curators spoilt for choice. Bottom: Karen installing historic photographs selected from the collections of the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge (photos: Karen Jacobs and Rosanna Raymond).







Site designed by Katrina Talei Igglesden, Jeremy Bartholomew, Karen Jacobs and Steven Hooper at the Sainsbury Research Unit