TOHUA PAPA NUI
CULTURAL CENTER PAUL GAUGUIN
ATUONA -MARQUESAS ISLANDS
MAY 8, 2003 at 3.00 P.M.
Paul Gauguin cultural center, beeing built, Atuona mars
Thursday May 8,2003, round about 3.00 pm local time, at the same place and time
when Paul Gauguin died 100 years ago to the day, the Municipality of Hiva Oa in
the Marquesas archipelago, French Polynesia, has officially open the Cultural
Center to honor the memory of the artist.
purpose of this new Center, located on a piece of land Paul Gauguin had
purchased from Monseigneur Martin to build his famous “House of Pleasure
”with his own hands, is threefold :
-Honoring the memory of the Artist through a Space for evocation;
a place for artistic creation and cultural exchange via an Artists ’Residence;
a Center for cultural activities available to the population.
space is dedicated to Paul Gauguin and offers visitors a thematic itinerary that
is specifically designed and adapted to reveal a man in conflict with the
society of his time and also an artist and his works from a novel and enriching
angle. The visit also offers commentaries in French, English and Marquesan to
serve the largest number of visitors.
on three main themes presented in three adjoining buildings, the Center proposes
an itinerary based essentially on the concept of reproduction of works as chief
mode of display on all kinds of media : copies, photographs, fac-similes,
replicas, electronic editions, mouldings, etc. The exhibition resources have
therefore implemented all the techniques pertaining specifically to museography
and scenography while being unambiguous as to the non museum status of the
before engaging in the thematic discovery and so that no possible frustration
may arise due to the absence of original works, the visitors will proceed
through a “directions for use ”space in the reception bungalow that will
explain what the exhibits truly are. The three themes in that space for
evocation were named after three quotations by Gauguin as representative of the
major steps in his life.
“ESCAPING TO REACH ART ”
sequence the visitors have the opportunity to discover and understand, through
reproductions of works, letters or writings, what the artist ’s motivations
were behind his various departures to new destinations and the resulting
achievements. In that same space, Paul Gauguin ’s chronological journey
between 1848 and 1903 is viewed against the major events in his lifetime and the
evolution of art, in order to put the artist ’s approach into context.
|Extracts from Jacob
wrestling with an angel
or The vision after the sermon .1888
“ THE RIGHT TO DARE ANYTHING IN ART ”
dedicated member of the French artistic Avant-garde movement, Paul Gauguin took
an active part in the building of a new relationship between the artist and
painting. As such and away from any classification, he was one of the very first
artists to put together painting, sculpting, ceramic or monotype. This space,
above all, highlights his desire to experiment and shows how his artistic search
developed, while offering a panorama of the plastic and literary Avant-garde in
France at the close of the 19th Century.
Extract from Arearea, Amusement.1892.
“ BECOMING PART OF A PRIMITIVE CULTURE ”
third step in the thematic itinerary enables visitors to understand Gauguin’s
intense desire to be immersed in “exotic ”cultures and societies, searching
for the impact they may have on his art. This particular space also gives
visitors an idea of what the village of Atuona was like in the early 20th
Century through photographs and archive documents. It also reveals the
artist’s stand against the colonial authority and displays a selection of
objects recently found in the well situated by the “House of Pleasure ”.
Extract from Parahi te Marae, 1892
faithful reconstruction based n the plan known as the “Le Bronnec Plan ”of
the artist ’s last abode, the “House of Pleasure ” is an integral part of
the overall thematic itinerary. As a matter of fact, the upper floor in the
house will be used as a temporary exhibition room to display works by local
artists or other artists invited as part of the Center ’s cultural activities.
A plan drawn by «Le Bronnec » of the “House of Pleasure ”
Paul Gauguin's tomb on death day
second major element in this innovative cultural place is the creation of an
artists ’residence which materializes the project so dear to Van Gogh and
Gauguin to create their “Atelier des Tropiques ”.
in the middle of the Pacific, Atuona seems to hold some power of attraction on
artists and in this respect Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel are but most symbolic
examples. With a view to offer other artists the opportunity to experience the
magic appeal of the Marquesas, provisions have been made by the Municipality of
Hiva Oa for famous international artists to be able to stay for a while in one
of the three residential fa’e .
as being a place offering documentary resources to both visitors and the
local population wishing to improve their knowledge of the artist or discover
the world of art whether Oceanian or not, the Cultural Center will also stage
temporary exhibitions. A mode of operation including the loan of works may
possibly be set up and, generally speaking, any and all initiatives likely to
establish the Center firmly in the life of the local community will be welcome.
Web pages created by Eric OLIVIER artists in Hiva Oa web pages
photos from official opening informations on the cultural center