On the week of its first birthday, the new Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney welcomed the arrival of Pacific Views, a new exhibition centered on historical photographs of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Tonga, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia. The exhibition sees these important photographs brought to life through the contemporary voices, songs and poetry of Pacific peoples.
Pacific Views draws on the University’s Macleay Collection of historic photography, which contains over 7200 images of the Pacific region. The exhibition showcases a selection of these photographs dating back to the 1870s, revealing views of both fragile and flourishing ecosystems nurtured by Pacific Islander peoples during a time of rampant colonisation. Through contemporary audio recordings, oration and poetry, the photographs are artfully considered and reinterpreted through the voices and songs of Pacific peoples and artists.
Despite an inaugural year of uncertainty thanks to the pandemic and lockdowns in 2021, the Chau Chak Wing Museum managed to pull off 20 exhibitions, 46 talks and events, and welcomed over 86,000 visitors in its first year of operation. Pacific Views runs until July 2022 and is presented in partnership with the Sydney Environment Institute and the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC).
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the University of Sydney.