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View the PDF document Contemporary visual arts in Fiji : development and challenges towards a re-thinking for the Fiji visual art system
Author: Vaka'uta, Lingikoni
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A. Pacific Studies
Subject: Art, Modern, Modernism (Art) -- Fiji
Date: 2014
Call No.: Pac N 6350 .V35 2014
BRN: 1198197
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This study explored the development of contemporary arts in Fiji since contact, through colonialism and from Fiji’s independence in 1970 to date. The social, cultural, political and economic milieu of contemporary creations and exhibitions were examined, along with institutions and their contribution to the visual arts in Fiji. This research undertaking, the first of its kind, in terms of examining contemporary art development in Fiji, applied a qualitative phenomenological approach. Methodologically, it drew from western and indigenous research frameworks to contextualize past and current day art practices in Fiji. This mixedmethods approach was a deliberate attempt to locate both western and indigenous cultural perspectives in the analysis of art discourses and art production and their contribution to local art contexts, in relation to the broader international context. Findings indicate that the visual arts system in Fiji is incomplete. As a result, there are many missed opportunities for development of the arts and artists. Livelihood remains the most obvious benefit for artists. However, this study shows that there is a need for purposeful research to examine the social, cultural and economic benefits of the arts for Fiji. There are many challenges within the visual arts in Fiji related to the dysfunctional nature of the visual arts system. The lack of arts education in Fiji schools has contributed to the general lack of awareness and appreciation of the arts. The economic situation adds to the lack of investment in art infrastructure and human development. Additionally, the absence of official statistics makes it difficult to conduct comparative studies in the arts to develop meaningful policies. This will form a critical component in developing viable creative industries in the country. These include museums and galleries, art discourses and the art market which relates to a favorable economic situation. The current art situation in Fiji is exacerbated by the dysfunctionality of various components within the visual arts system.
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