New Zealand and Pacific Island countries to partner with Royal Academy of Arts on ‘Oceania’ exhibition

New Zealand and Pacific Island countries will partner with the Royal Academy of Arts on the Oceania exhibition in London from 29 September to 10 December this year. Oceania will mark 250 years since the start of Captain Cook’s first voyage to the South Pacific.

“This exhibition will showcase the Pacific in the United Kingdom. As the United Kingdom seeks to establish its global role outside the European Union in the years ahead, this is an excellent means of focusing UK and international attention on our region,” Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said.

“The peoples of the Pacific are navigating challenges unprecedented in the thousands of years since they began to settle this vast ocean.  A deeper international understanding of the Pacific – of its history and its future - is vital to help meet those challenges.”  

“Themes of the exhibition including journeying, place-making and encounters relate to contemporary issues such as climate change, regional security challenges, and sustainable development.”   

“New Zealand’s own future is inextricably linked to the prosperity and stability of the Pacific.  In supporting the exhibition New Zealand will emphasise its place in the Pacific, common threads of history and society, and New Zealand’s shared interests with the region,” Mr Peters said.

Oceania will showcase the significant cultural traditions of Māori and Pacific art. It will feature more than 200 items, ranging from pounamu carvings to feather cloaks, originally from New Zealand, Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia. The exhibition will also present a number of contemporary works from the Pacific, including the vast panoramic video In Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015-17, by the New Zealand multi-media artist, Lisa Reihana (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki).