Art for a Melanesian Hero


A few years ago, with other artists in Melanesia, I was invited to create artwork in memory of a Melanesian hero, Jean Marie Tjibaou who was assassinated in New Caledonia in 1989.

Above was a doodle of two ink drawings that I worked into two larger pieces for the exhibition. Read more on Tjibaou Cultural Centre here. This link provides an excellent interview with Emmanuel Kasarherou, Cultural Director at the Tjibaou centre.

I just found the drawings tonight, while going through some boxes from the storage. The ink on the left drawing was smudged from some water drops. Otherwise, the two images were still intact. The drawings brought back the story of this amazing man and an architectural phenomena that was built in his memory. You can Google both – a lot has been written about the man, the Kanak movement and the building, designed by Italian architect, Remzo Piano.

Briefly, Jean-Marie Tjibaou (January 30, 1936 – May 4, 1989) a son of a tribal leader, was also the leader of the Kanak independence movement and a politician in New Caledonia. I have visited this cultural centre more than once and would recommend it to anyone travelling through New Caledonia. It is a beautiful space.






4 thoughts on “Art for a Melanesian Hero”

      1. I read the interview…..the “architecture” is unpretentiously inspiring ( contrast that to all we see in Dubai/Shanghai/etc where inspiring is meant glass/height/technology…) and the philosophies behind the gardens/plants is simple and yet soulful….going back to the roots.

        I am glad you got to be part of this “architecture”… your enlarged drawings too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for your thoughts Kah Wah. I am glad you liked the cultural centre. I really love going there – just to walk around. I am going to find those drawings – they must be in my old desktop. I will keep you posted.


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