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Library Subject Guides

Pacific and Pasifika: Art and Material Culture

Finding Articles

For articles on Pasifika artists and art in Aotearoa New Zealand, start with these indexes:

If full-text is not available on these indexes, search Multisearch to see if the Library has access to the articles.

Check out Marinade: Aotearoa Journal of Moana Art. Available in the MB Library.

Also Pacific Arts available online.

For articles on Pacific art and artists in the Pacific, and on indigenous collections, start with

Pacific Art at UC

To find some of the Pacific art here at the University, search Ka Kohika our database of art and archives, or browse a selection of the artworks here.

Macmillan Brown Centre's Artists in Residence programme

Tui Emma Gillies was the 2023 Artist in Residence at the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies.

Find out more about the Macmillan Brown Centre's artist in residence programme here: Artist in Residence Programme

Online Collections

Moana Arts on Coconet TV

DigitalPasifik "... aims to empower people in and of the Pacific Islands, enabling them to see, discover and explore items of digitised cultural heritage that are held in collections around the world."

Also see: Films/videos online

Books in the Library

Finding Books on Artists and Art


To find books on Pasifika artists and art in New Zealand, search the library catalogue using the subject keywords art* Pacific Island Zealand.

Check out:

To find books on Pacific artists throughout the world, search the library catalogue using the subject keywords artists and Oceania or Pacific or the name of the country.

To find books on Pacific art throughout the world, search the library catalogue using the subject keywords art and Oceania or Pacific  or Melanesia *or the name of the country. Also search on Art, Polynesian and scroll down the subject headings to see more specific topics.

Pacific Arts Organisations

Ōtautahi Christchurch

Canterbury Polyfest

FIBRE Gallery Ōtautahi. "A distinctly Moana gallery, dedicated to the display of community-engaged, digital, and heritage artworks by Moana creatives.
    Read Nina Oberg Humphries' 2016 article A perspective on Pacific art in Christchurch.

Pacific Underground
    Read an overview of 25 years of Pacific Underground

For an insight into some of the racism experienced by Pasifika artists in Christchurch, read Racism: We All Have Dirty Hands.


FafSwag Also on Facebook

Lagi-Maama Academy/Consultancy

Pacific Arts Legacy Project "A foundational history of Pacific arts in Aotearoa as told from the perspective of the artists who were there."

Pasifika Festival

Pimpiknows   The website of Ema Tavola, the 2017 Macmillan Brown Centre's Artist in Residence. Check out her manifesto devised during the residency.

Tautai "is an organisation dedicated to the mentoring and ongoing support of Pacific artists"

Pantograph Punch Pacific Arts Legacy Project


Finding Books on Pacific Material Culture

To find books on material culture of the Pacific, search the library catalogue using the subject keywords material culture and Pacific or Oceania or Melanesia or the name of the country. Also look at books on museums (see box below).

Finding Books on Museums and Collections

For books on Pacific museums and on Pacific material in other museums, search the library catalogue using the keywords museums and Oceania or Pacific or the name of the country.

For critiques of collecting Pacific material for colonial institutions, try these books all of which are in the Macmillan Brown Library:

Pacific Artists' Responses to Pacific Material in Institutions

Macmillan Brown Centre's Artists in Residence projects:

Luisa Tora
In 2021, Luisa Tora and other members of the Veiqia Project, "a creative research project inspired by the practice of Fijian female tattooing of veiqia"  produced an exhibition at the Physics Room  iLakolako ni weniqia: A Veiqia Project exhibition, 25 Sep — 31 Oct 2021

Folina Vili, produced a response: My ancestors are here with me in my blood, my bones my spirit: A response to the exhibition iLakolako ni weniqia by The Veiqia Project.

Nina Oberg Humphries
In 2020, Nina Oberg Humphries “examined items from the Oldman collection and invited members of Canterbury’s Pacific community to engage with them…”. For information on the resulting exhibition TA’AI, see the Physics Room exhibition page.  

FIKA Writers produced a Zine in response to the exhibition. We hold a copy in the Macmillan Brown Library: Oberg Humphries, N. (2020). FIKA mai Ta'ai : Nina Oberg Humphries : 17 Oct-29 Nov 2020, Physics Room, Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. FIKA Writers.

Related books:


Useful Arts, 2021 Artist: Taloi Havini, Curator: Melissa Keys.
"Raises critical questions around notions of ownership, repatriation, the politics of display, the history of classification and the moral imperative for colonial redress."

Art and Environmental Issues

Some recent resources:

Pasifika Voices: Our Call for Climate Action Artistic video works from Mana Moana Pacific Voices "created to amplify and support the Pacific to drive global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions".

Art and Environment in Oceania. A special issue of the Pacific Arts journal (2021).

Three chapters in The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Art, Visual Culture, and Climate Change (2021) cover the Pacific. Only the first in this list has a Pacific author:
Farbotko, C. & Kitara, T. (2021). The political ecology and visual culture of the Pacific Climate Warriors. 
Hickey, A. (2021). Remembering the land: Art, direct action, and the denial of extractive realities on Bougainville. 
-  Ahmed, N. & Cann, E. (2021). Ecological impunity and resistance in West Papua. 

Contact Me for Help

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Caroline Syddall
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Macmillan Brown Library.

My hours of work are Monday-Friday 8.30-4.30
03 3693883 or x93883








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