Sis, susa, tuofefine, tuahine, tuafafine, sister eo an, tita, kauaemua, sista – there are many different words for ‘sister’ in the Pacific region. We hope that readers are inspired by the intimate, relational and deeply caring nature of the artworks featured in ‘sis: Pacific Art 1980- 2023’, which continue the stories and legacies of their creators.
sis: Pacific Art 1980-2023 honours and celebrates the work and stories of women artists from across the Pacific, as told through the QAGOMA Collection. At a time when many art museums are dedicated to redressing their under-representation of women artists, sis: Pacific Art 1980-2023 speaks to the decades-long partnerships QAGOMA has developed with women artists in the region, and to the Collection-building focus and commissioning of important new work over ten iterations of the Gallery’s Asia Pacific Triennial.
Informed by concepts of cultural resilience, self-determination, re-visioning colonial and postcolonial histories, and the rejection of convention, sis: Pacific Art 1980-2023 presents a range of new scholarship, which captures the diversity of artistic practice from across the region. Much of its content focused on global and social issues, including the imminent threats borne of rising sea levels and the degradation of ocean and island habitats, accompanied by a deep determination to maintain culture as a means of healing and restoring communities. The works featured in sis: Pacific Art 1980-2023 convey what survival means for our island neighbours, as they derive their strength from matrilineal leadership drawing on the power, unity and humility of Pacific women. Comprising works that can be considered both contemporary and customary, sis showcases textiles, ceramics, photography, moving image, sculpture, installation, painting, performance, printmaking and tattooing.
Rich in imagery of process and context, this volume includes original photography from QAGOMA’s curatorial team’s extensive travel throughout the Pacific over many years. sis: Pacific Art 1980-2023 – 240 pages with over 120 illustrations – is a beautiful and inspiring publication, and a significant resource on contemporary Pacific culture.
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