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Lakalaka performed in London at exhibition opening

News 3 Oct 2018

The Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London has a fantastic array of around 200 works of Pacific art from public collections around the world on display from 29 September – 10 December. Performances at the opening included dancers from Tonga performing the Lakalaka, a Tongan masterpiece of performing arts.

The Oceania exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London has a fantastic array of around 200 works of Pacific art from public collections around the world on display from 29 September – 10 December.

Performances at the opening included dancers from Tonga performing the Lakalaka, a Tongan masterpiece of performing arts, which combines sung poetry and dance. (The Lakalaka was declared to be part of the ‘intangible heritage of humanity’ in 2003 by UNESCO.)

At the opening, Tonga's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Hon. Fane Tupouvava'u Tu'ivakano met the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, to view the diverse art of the region, including pieces of Tongan art.

This is the first time a major Pacific exhibition is being held in the UK, comprising of traditional and contemporary art spanning 500 years, from public collections around the world.

Oceania marks 250 years since James Cook’s voyage to the Pacific region and also coincides with the 250th anniversary of the Academy. Cook and his crew encountered a number of island civilations scattered across a vast area, made of up Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia.

The exibition reveals the different indigenous populations Cook met, who had their own histories of inter-island trade, ocean navigation, and social and artistic traditions.

The artwork on display includes a range of carvings from god images to huge canoes, shell, greenstone, ceramic ornaments, as well as tapa cloth, including pieces collected by Cook during his voyage.

Tonga is a supporting partner of the exhibition along with Papua New Guinea and New Zealand as the principal partner.

"Oceania" will continue next year when it will also open at the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris on 12 March 2019.


Source: Matangi Tonga