A journey through history

By Zhang Kun China Daily Updated:2023-06-13


Pendant, Conus shell, New Georgia Islands, early to mid-20th century. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Nuku says that this perspective is especially important today, as the world is faced with problems such as the climate crisis that requires everyone to come together to tackle.

Nuku then spoke about her favorite object in the exhibition — a canoe prow from the Solomon Islands made of dark stained wood and featuring a pearl shell inlay. The prow, she notes, is an important item in this culture because the Solomon Islanders spend much of their time on the water and have to fish every day. The prow is also viewed as an object that keeps evil spirits at bay and ensures a safe fishing expedition and a good catch.


Canoe Figurehead, wood, paint, shell, Solomon Islands, late 19th to early 20th century. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Nuku says she loves the piece because of the strong contrast that is created by the dark stained wood and the iridescent pearl shell.

"We have specially placed this object at one corner of the exhibition so its 'eyes' draw you in. When you view the prow from the other side, you come to realize that it has a really beautiful, handsome profile."


The Shape of Time: Art and Ancestors of Oceania from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

June 1-Aug 20, Monday-Sunday, 10 am-9 pm (last admission at 8 pm)

Museum of Art Pudong, 2777 Binjiang Avenue, Pudong New Area, Shanghai


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