The Battle of the Noble Savage

New Zealand/Samoan artist Greg Semu’s The Battle of the Noble Savages series, was commissioned by Musee du Quai Branly, Paris in 2007. As inaugural artist in residence, Semu was invited to respond to a 2007 Bonded by Blood poster, gifted to Quai Branly, to commemorate the All Black’s 2006 tour of France and 2007 Rugby World Cup. The poster depicts the All Blacks performing their signature haka “Ka Mate Ka Mate” in a mystical tropical rain forest with ancestral Maori figures silhouetted in the foliage.

Greg Semu’s later work addresses cultural displacement in relation to colonization, particularly political and religious colonization. The artist’s work alludes also to the Oceania diaspora, and speaks from personal experience and the history of his people forced to leave traditional places of living, as an experience of cultural and
spiritual displacement.

Image credit: to Quai Branly.

Now – 28 September 2013
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