NEW CALEDONIA’S TJIBAOU CULTURAL CENTER PLANS PACIFIC-RICH 2002

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NEW CALEDONIA’S TJIBAOU CULTURAL CENTER PLANS PACIFIC-RICH 2002

NOUMÉA, New Caledonia (March 4, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---New Caledonia's Tjibaou Cultural Center has announced an ambitious calendar for this year, with special focus on Pacific cultures, RFO reports.

Cultural director Emmanuel Kasarherou said the center has planned an extravaganza of cultural events, including theater, sculpture and painting exhibitions, and arts shows that place Pacific culture at the forefront.

"This year, we are reemphasizing our efforts to promote cultural expressions of the Pacific," he said.

In the plastic arts and exhibitions department, the plan is to emphasize local Kanak and Pacific Islands artists who not only perpetuate the age-old tradition of this region, but also display creativity and new forms of expression and style in the field of contemporary art.

Four exhibitions, most of which are dedicated to the theme of "land," are scheduled for Tjibaou in 2002.

The center also wants, in the process, to build a regional database of Pacific Islands artists, a sort of artistic "Who's Who" of the region.

Also this year, the Tjibaou Cultural Center plans to host artists in residence for the whole of June. Two local and two overseas artists will be guests of the center and will create, in view of the public, on the "land" theme.

In following years, similar sessions will feature other elements, such as sea and wind.

Two exhibitions were officially opened on Saturday. They are "Skins, Scales and Feathers" (a patchwork of how animals are being representing in the eyes of regional artists) and "Of Sea and Ink" (how Torres Strait, Solomon Islanders and Niueans have depicted their natural environments).

Some 1,300 visitors came to the center on opening day.

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