Norwich exhibition will take visitors on a tour of Fijian culture

Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific exhibition at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.Pictured is Constan

Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific exhibition at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.Pictured is Constance Gordon Cumming's View of Tokou, Ovalau, 1870s, watercolour.Credit: Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge. - Credit: Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge.

People will be able to enjoy an insight into Fijian art and culture in the latest major exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific will open at the centre, based at the University of East Anglia, on October 15.

The show - which features more than 270 works - is thought to be the largest and most comprehensive exhibition about the South Pacific nation ever assembled, and will take visitors on a journey through the art and cultural history of Fiji since the late 18th century.

It is the result of a three-year Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded project which examined little-known Fijian collections in the UK and overseas, and is said to have uncovered some significant treasures.

Professor Steven Hooper, research project leader and exhibition curator, said: 'An important aspect of this exhibition is that the many examples of exceptional Fijian creativity on display are not presented as 'ethnographic specimens' or 'illustrations' of Fijian culture, but as works of art in their own right, as worthy of attention as any art tradition in the world, including Modernism. Remarkable creative imagination is applied to the making of ancestral god images, ritual dishes and


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regalia, and to the decoration of enormous barkcloths.'

A highlight of the exhibition will be a newly-commissioned sailing canoe that has been built in Fiji and shipped to Norwich for display.

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Fiji: Art and Life in the Pacific will be at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, from October 15 2016 until February 12 2017. For more information, visit www.scva.ac.uk

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