Kanak custom on two-week exhibition in Suva

A painting of the Kanak people by artist and photographer Sebastien Lebegue that is exhibited at the Alliance Française de Suva. Picture: VILIMAINA NAQELEVUKI

THE COUTUME Kanak (Kanak Custom) exhibition is an introduction talking mainly about territory, social structure and what the society is for the indigenous people of New Caledonia.

This was highlighted by Artist and Photographer Sebastien Lebegue in an interview with this newspaper today.

Lebegue has worked on these pieces for the past five years.

“We continue with the gestures on how to enter into a clan because the connection is mainly about the relationship between two clans, they have some ceremonies to unite or make alliances,” Lebegme said.

He said the uniqueness of the pieces lay within the portraits itself, where the Kanak people had shared their stories with him.

“One more installation is about the people, people in New Caledonia I could meet, they give me their own testimonies of what is Kanak customs so the portraits have some acrylic and they represent the people. This is just a few potraits, normally there is about 105 potraits painted,” he said.

Lebegue acknowledged the Alliance Française de Suva for giving him the opportunity to display his work in Fiji.

“I am very glad that Alliance Française proposed to have the exhibition here in Fiji because Kanaks are Melanesian and so some of their customs are very similar to Fiji and to show it here is a really big privilege.”

Cultural director for Alliance Française de Suva Charlotte Tassel said they were really intrigued with the fact that Lebegue was studying about the Kanak people.

“His approach is very interesting, he draws very well. He takes a step back and he is just showing the pieces as it is and we thought it would be very interesting to connect it with the Fijian culture to show this Kanak culture to the Fijian people here because there is a lot of similarities,” Ms Tassel said.

The exhibition will be held from September 20 and ends on October 5, 2018, at the Oceania Centre at USP.