Quai Branly Museum
19 Nov → 8 Mar 2020
From Tue to Sun, from 10:30am to 7pm. Nocturnal Thu > 10pm. Closed Mon
Come on, we'll take you to meet the Pacific arts. Ready to discover Somuk? This name is probably unknown to you, foreign and distant. Yet he is one of the most famous artists in the Pacific, whose works have been preserved in significant numbers. Somuk, famous in his village in the northern Solomon Islands since the 1930s, attracted the attention of the post-war Parisian intelligentsia thanks to the writings of Father Patrick O'Reilly. He then fell into oblivion except in Gagan, his native village, where he acquired the status of a demiurge after his death. For Dubuffet and his entourage, he became a model of art brut. His work and artistic practice are unique. Somuk composes complex narrative scenes and conceives his works as cycles. Based on the mythology he draws, he transcribes all the complexity of the history of his islands. The exhibition at Quai Branly retraces the journey of this artist who had almost been forgotten. Bougainville societies, the commissions for drawings by missionaries and anthropologists of his time, the representation of the Bougainville civil war. Through his drawings, (re)discover this Melanesian political figure, a singular artist who has become the symbol of a recognition of contemporary art in the Pacific.