Skip to Main Content

PACS303: Arts, Ritual and Performance: Research Tools

Research tools

On this page you'll find some materials to get you started in finding information about Pacific-related visual and performing arts. 

Artist Profiles in Contemporary Pacific

Drawing, 'The Charmer' by Katherine Higgins

Each issue of The Contemporary Pacific includes artwork and information about an artist or group of artists. Click the links below to get to the articles.

Articles marked with a double asterisk (**) are housed in Project Muse, a subscription database that is restricted to UH-Mānoa students, faculty and staff. To find materials in Project Muse, you will first need to log in to the database by following the link below; once in the database, search for "The Contemporary Pacific" (without quotation marks), and then click on the link that reads: "Is this the title you are searching for: The Contemporary Pacific." This will take you to a listing of all issues that are available in Project Muse; select the issue number listed next to the artist's name below, and you will see a link at top of page titled, "About the artist."

All others are freely available online via Scholarspace, the Library's digitial repository.

**Artists of the Francophone Pacific [Volume 27, no. 2, 2015] (French Polynesia / New Caledonia) Featured artists: Marie-Hélène Villierme, Paula Boi Gony, Tahea Drollet (a.k.a. TAHE), Micheline Néporon, Olson Teraiamano, Manaarii Tetauupu, Denise Tiavouane, 

Jewel Castro (Samoa / American Samoa)

Ric R. Castro (Guam)

Solomon Enos (Hawai'i)

Fatu Feu'u ( Samoa / Aotearoa/New Zealand)

From the Festival of Pacific Arts (Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia)

Niki Hastings-McFall (Aotearoa / Samoa)

The Jaki-Ed Collective (Marshall Islands)

Shigeyuki Kihara (Aotearoa)

Kapulani Landgraf (Hawaiʻi)

Andy Leleisiʻuao (Aotearoa, Samoa)

Ake Lianga (Solomon Islands)

Rongotai Lomas (Aotearoa)

Meleanna Aluli Meyer (Hawaiʻi)

Ani O'Neill (Aotearoa / Cook Islands)

Carl F.K. Pao (Hawai'i / Aotearoa)

Sue Pearson (Norfolk Island)

**Lemi Ponifasio [Volume 28, no. 1, 2016] (New Zealand / Samoa)

John Pule (Niue)

Ralph Regenvanu (Vanuatu)

Larry Santana (Papua New Guinea)

Greg Semu (Aotearoa, Samoa)

Visesio Poasi Siasau (Tonga)

Michel Tuffery (Aotearoa, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tahiti)

Lingikoni Vakaʻuta (Tonga)

Daniel Waswas (Papua New Guinea)

Albert Wendt (Samoa / Aotearoa)

Selected Resources

Click on the highlighted titles below to see where you can find copies of these books and journals in the Library. Check Locations! Items in the Voyager catalog marked UH Mānoa: Hamilton Pacific Reference or UH Mānoa: Hamilton Hawaiian Reference can be pulled directly off the reference shelves in the Hawaiian & Pacific reading room. For items marked UH Mānoa Hawaiian Collection or UH Mānoa Pacific Collection, request retrieval through the "Get This Item" link in Voyager. (Click here for instructions on how to request books using "Get This Item.")

The book chapters and journal articles below are a sampling of the types of materials you can find related to contemporary Pacific art. Some discuss the work of specific artists; others are more generally about contemporary Pacific art, but can be used to get background for your project as well as to compare the work of your selected artist with others from the region. Below is only a sampling -- for information on how to search for other books, click the Research Strategies tab at the top of this page.


Cochrane, Susan. Beretara: Contemporary Pacific Art. Rushcutters Bay, N.S.W., Australia: Halstead Press; Nouméa, New Caledonia: Centre culturel Tjibaou, 2001. 
Chapter two, "Contemporary Art in the Pacific Region," (pp. 33-52) looks more broadly at issues in contemporary Pacific art than some of the other texts listed here (that is, it goes beyond Aotearoa/New Zealand). Chapter six, "In Town," (pp. 133-168) looks at contemporary Melanesian art, and mentions at least two of the artists featured in the journal Contemporary Pacific, Daniel Waswas and Ralph Regenvanu. Chapter seven, "Live Art," (pp. 169-188) also includes mention of Danial Waswas. 

Herle, Anita, Nick Stanley, Karen Stevenson, et al., editors. Pacific Art: Persistence, Change and MeaningHonolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2002.
See in particular Chapter 29, "The island in the urban: Contemporary Pacific art in New Zealand" (pp. 404-414), which gives a good overview of issues being addressed by Pacific artists in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Many of these topics are relevant to other Polynesian islands in particular, and to the Pacific in general.

Higgins, Katherine. Red wave: space, process, and creativity at the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture. Suva, Fiji: IPS Publications, Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, 2008.
Pages 11-22 provide a good overview of contemporary Pacific art. See pp. 31-33 and 78-79 for information specifically on The Tongan artistLingikoni Emelio Vaka'uta, who is the featured artist in Contemporary Pacific Volume 21, no. 1, Spring 2009.

Li, Junxian, Susan Cochrane, et al., editors. Chao yue shi guang, kua yue da yang: Nan dao dang dai yi shu = Across oceans and time: art in the Contemporary Pacific. Gaoxiong Shi: Gaoxiong Shi li mei shu guan, 2007.
The chapter titled "Art and Artists in the Contemporary Pacific" (pp. 57-63) gives a good overview of contemporary Pacific art, particularly in Melanesia and Polynesia; "From the Island to the Urban," (pp74-77) talks about more specific themes in the art. Examples of art from throughout the Pacific, in a variety of styles and media, are shown -- good for comparing with works by artists featured in the Contemporary Pacific exhibit.

Raymond, Rosanna and Amiria Salmond. Pasifika Styles: Artists inside the museumCambridge, Eng.: University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2008
See chapter 2, "Islands of Opportunity: Pasifika Styles and Museums" for another good overview of issues addressed by contemporary art in Aotearoa/New Zealand. See pages 26-27 for a brief discussion of the work of Shigeyuki Kihara, featured artist in Contemporary Pacific, Volume 19, no. 1, Spring 2007.


Journal Articles

Unless otherwise noted, all of the journal articles below are available only in print. 

Castro, Jewel. "Communicating tradition in Samoan American art: an artist’s reflection." in Pacific Studies, Vol. 30, no. 1/2 (March/June 2007). pp. 122-129.
Essay by one of the featured artists in the Contemporary Pacific exhibit(Note: be sure to look at the holdings record for this article -- click on the journal title -- copies are available in multiple places in the library, not just in Pacific Collection.)

Cochrane, Susan. "Contemporary Pacific: The guest editor outlines art practice in the Pacific." in ART AsiaPacificVol. 2, no. 4, October 1995. pp. 50-59.
Good overview of contemporary Pacific art.

Feu'u, Fatu. "Samoan Artists in Samoa and New Zealand." in ART AsiaPacificVol. 2, no. 4, October 1995. pp. 60-67.
Article on contemporary Samoan art -- this article is referenced by the article by Sean Mallon included on this list. Does not mention in particular artists featured in the Contemporary Pacific exhibit, but good to look at in comparison to works by other Samoans and/or Polynesian artists in the exhibit.

Hereniko, Vilsoni. "Interview with Albert Wendt: Art, Writing, and the Creative Process" in Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 18, no. 1, Spring 2006. pp. 59-69. Click here to download digital full-text of article. (Adobe PDF reader required).
Albert Wendt discusses his creative process as both a writer and painter, during the period in which he created the art displayed in the library's Contemporary Pacific (which was featured in Volume 18, no. 1 of the journal).

Imada, Adria L. "Island Affinities: Contemporary Art of Oceania." [review] in Contemporary Pacific, Vol. 20, no. 1. Spring 2008. pp. 277-280. Click here to download digital full-text of article. (Adobe PDF reader required).
Review of an exhibition curated by Jewel Castro. Includes biographical information on Castro and discussion of themes in her and othersʻ works, particularly dealing with diaspora in art. Also briefly discusses series of photos by Shigeyuki Kihara.

Mallon, Sean. "Samoan Art Histories: The art of Andy Leleisi'uao, Graham Fletcher and Nanette Lela'ulu." in ART AsiaPacific. Issue 32, October/Novermber/December 2001. pp. 70-77. 
Article on contemporary Samoan art. Does not mention in particular artists featured in the Contemporary Pacific exhibit, but good to look at in comparison to works by other Samoans and/or Polynesian artists in the exhibit. 

Moriarty, Linda P. "Contemporary Native Hawaiian Art." in ART AsiaPacificVol. 2, no. 4, October 1995. pp. 76-81.
Use to compare with Hawaiian artists in the Contemporary Pacific exhibit.

Stevenson, Karen. "Negotiating 'Tradition': the art of Lily Laita and Ani O'Neill." in ART AsiaPacificIssue 18, 1998. pp. 68-73. 
An article that reflects on "how 'tradition' is sustained, manipulated and negotiated in the contemporary Pacific art of New Zealand" (p. 70) These reflections may also be worth thinking about in relation to artists from other parts of the Pacific.
Tamaira, A. Marata. "From Full Dusk to Full Tusk: Reimagining the 'Dusky Maiden' through the Visual Arts." in Contemporary Pacific, vol. vol. 22, no. 1 (Spring 2010). pp. 1-35. To access full-text of article via Project Muse, click here.
Includes a discussion of Shigeyuki Kihara's art.
Teaiwa, Teresia K. "Our Pacific: contemporary art in Fiji." in ART AsiaPacificIssue 17, 1998. pp. 76-79. 
Does not talk specifically about artists in the Contemporary Pacific exhibit, but may be useful as another take on motivations of artists from Melanesia (and Oceania more generally).

Spoken Word Poetry of the Pacific

Photo of Kealii MacKenzie

This online guide, created by slam poet and Pacific scholar Kealiʻi MacKenzie (pictured above) will give you everything you need to know to get started in researching performance poetry.