“Indeed, I saw in the district young women and young girls tranquil of eye, pure Tahitians….
All indeed, wish to be taken literally, brutally taken, without a single word.”
— Excerpt from Noa Noa, Tahiti journal of P. Gauguin
In 1769, the population of Tahiti was approximately 35,000. By the time Paul Gauguin arrived in Papeete in 1891, European disease had killed off two-thirds of the population.
In the same year, colonialism had successfully destroyed the Maori people. Calvinist, Mormon, and Catholic religions replaced the indigenous beliefs and European thought and products replaced the handicrafts, barkcloth, the art of tattoo, music, and dance.
Mururoa Mururoa: Big Lies, is the start of a new dialog on the art and life of Paul Gauguin. A challenge to art institutions, art historians, and curators to recognize the true perspective of the indigenous.