Symposium sessions will focus on several perspectives:
SESSION 1: Objects from Central and Eastern Polynesia (the Cook Islands, Society Islands, Austral Islands, Gambier Islands, Marquesas Islands, Rapa Nui) in museums and private collections: Current research on 19th century and earlier works, including scientific testing.
SESSION 2: Pacific art and spirituality, including Islanders’ views today on the relationship between objects and atua (spirit beings, deified ancestors, and ‘gods’) past and as part of Christian practice today.
SESSION 3: Contemporary work by Pacific Islander artists, including Pasifika work coming out of urban centers; how artists influence changing perceptions and understandings of Pacific culture.
SESSION 4: The emerging role of museum websites and other web entities dealing with Pacific art. “Virtual repatriation” - what is it? Can it work?
SESSION 5: Representing Pacific art and cultures: The role of libraries, archives, museums and other institutions in the Pacific in furthering the understanding of Pacific art and raising issues concerning the interpretation of Pacific art by institutions worldwide.
SESSION 6: The symposium will also include an open session presenting object research.