Sepik, art of Papua New Guinea
The exhibit presents a collection of 230 sculptures linked to the Sepik Valley, a large swampland in the north of Papua New Guinea. Since the first millennium B.C. this area has sheltered populations who live close to the Sepik River and its tributaries.
The exhibition gradually unveils a major figure common to all cultures of the ‘lower’ and ‘middle’ Sepik: the founding ancestor. In Sepik societies, the figure of the ancestor does not immediately show itself. Instead it is gradually understood in all its complexity. The exhibition illustrates the multiple forms and variations in which these ancestral figures appear, from their public forms to their ‘secret’ forms.