Tikis at the Museum


NOVA. Pacíficos, new exhibition by Charris, at the Archaeological Museum of Cartagena

Within the NOVA program of La Mar de Arte this year it is possible to see my exhibition Pacíficos full of tikis and Polynesian Hawaiian and New Zealand landscapes, to all that –as Stevenson said– love the far and blue..

This exhibition is made up of 34 papers, a large canvas and some showcases with oceanic-inspired Spanish ceramics from the mid-20th century, pure tiki pop archeology.
It was originally a commission for an institution in Manila that was ultimately not carried out. Painted in 2018 and almost fonished, it had been unexhibited. In 2020 and 2021 I started to intervene the pieces with the new keys that I use now, with many layers of patterns and a less realistic approach. The call for the La Mar de Músicas festival gives me the opportunity to exhibit it in an enclave that I consider especially appropriate, the Archaeological Museum of Cartagena, built on a Roman necropolis. Many of the tikis that appear in the exhibition were located in the maraes or burial places of the Pacific settlers, often near their homes.
The landscapes that appear in this series are real, they are places that I have visited and photographed, as are the tikis, which I have been capturing in archaeological sites in my travels through Hawaii, French Polynesia or New Zealand, but also in the Pacific collections of western museums (London, Paris, New York) or of capitals bathed by that ocean (Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington, Honolulu). But not all tikis are so 'respectable', a few belong to the imaginative recreation of the South Seas made by Tiki Pop, and they belong to mythical places for fans of this trend such as the Mai-Kai of Fort Lauderdale, the Trader Vic's (London and Tokyo), or the Tiki Room at Orlando Disneyland. And I do not forget the Waikiki, the Polynesian bar that operated in Cartagena until 2001, which surely had a lot to do with my crush with this transoceanic dream of tiki and from which you can see some of its cocktail glasses in the museum's showcases. The exhibition began with the name Los tikis del mar, because it continues and closes my previous series on the Pacific Los mares del Tiki, but ended with this title –Pacíficos– because it does not pretend to be a real vision, nor can I imagine that there is only one Pacific, one on which scientists, anthropologists, geographers or sociologists could agree. So do not ask me for explanations if you travel there and it is nothing like what you saw in this exhibition. And as they say over there: Noho me ka hau’oli. Be happy.

Archaeological Museum of Cartagena
From July 14 to September 12, 2021
NOVA. La Mar de Arte. XXVI edition La Mar de Músicas Festival
Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Calle Santiago Ramon y Cajal nº 47. 30204 Cartagena
Contact: - 968128968