The Modern Dance (La Danse Moderne), 1998
Bamboo, raffia, motors, sand, fir trees, sound component
Courtesy of the artist

Born 1962, Noumea, New Caledonia; lives in Noumea, New Caledonia

The Modern Dance (La Danse Moderne)
This installation appropriates male dance traditions from the artist’s home, the islands of New Caledonia. In this work, Tiavouane pairs two threatened aspects of New Caledonian life—indigenous cultural traditions and native forests, which have been increasingly cleared for nickel mining. Tiavouane sees this dance tradition and its music as symbols of the resilience of indigenous Kanak culture.

Asia Society chat with the artist:

The Kanak dance is the one unifying theme in my work, which is the dance of the Melanesians – the indigenous peoples – of New Caledonia. Even if Pacific Islanders move from one island to the next – a lot of people go to New Zealand for instance –identity remains very important, and it is this I address in my work. In fact it is both about identity and tradition because we feel that we are losing our culture now. So the artists are trying to address this gradual loss of tradition and also trying to find ways of reclaiming it. To move ahead or farther along, you need to know where you are from.

Next artist>

home | about exhibition | catalogue | map of Pacific Islands | sponsors