Story: Pacific arts in New Zealand

Bottled Ocean, 1994

Bottled Ocean, 1994

Jim Vivieaere, curator of the exhibition Bottled Ocean, included a broad group of Pacific artists, working in many forms and at different stages of their artistic careers. Vivieaere told the New Zealand Herald that the ‘only reason we are here is that we are Polynesian – not on our merits but because we’re the "other"…. We don’t need Polynesian shows. I would like to see it as the last.’

At Wellington’s City Gallery, many of the Bottled Ocean works were displayed in a mirror-bottomed, perspex-fronted cabinet, mimicking museum displays of objects or window displays of department stores. At the Auckland Art Gallery (shown here), some works remained in their cases and others were partly unpacked. The positioning of the art, the lack of labels and the diversity of the work were, said Vivieaere, artificial problems for viewers to actively deal with. 

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Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki
Photograph by John McIver

Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kolokesa U. Māhina-Tuai, 'Pacific arts in New Zealand - Visual art and literature', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/44240/bottled-ocean-1994 (accessed 21 November 2018)

Story by Kolokesa U. Māhina-Tuai, published 22 Oct 2014