Vancouver Museum of Anthropology

MOA is a gorgeous building, designed by the late, famous Canadian architect, Arthur Erickson.  (He designed McClelland Hall at the University of Arizona, among tons of other buildings.)

The museum has a incredible collection from Canada’s First Nations people.  Plus modern artwork, such as these chairs based on ancient folded wood boxes.

The curator did a marvelous job of displaying the pieces.  Plus, as part of UBC (University of British Columbia),  this is also a research facility.  Beneath the glass cases are drawers full of other artifacts, plus other objects of its collections in the basement, for anyone wishing to study them.

MOA houses some 36,000 ethnographic objects, as well as 535,000 archaeological objects under the care of UBC’s Laboratory of Archaeology. The ethnographic materials derive from many parts of the world, including the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Hamatsa masks are large pieces carved in the form of a raven, with an elongated or curved beak.  The hamatsa are terrible bird-like monsters that feed on human flesh.  The beaks of the masks must be bound or at night they will clack, hoping for a meal.

My favorite of the modern pieces was this huge Raven Releasing the First People from a Huge Clamshell, carved out of one piece of wood by Haida artist, Bill Reid.

Others that I liked included this three-quarter scale rattan and bamboo Harley Davidson motorcycle (Javanese).

And these boats, which flow from their painting, through two rooms, through the window, to the sand beyond (which flows with water during the rainy season).

When asked by the curator how he would describe his artwork Becoming Rivers in terms of a question it asks, Gu Xiong answered, “How can different cultures intertwine through personal journeys, and move together into a new space?”

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One Response to “MOA”

  1. Artswebshow Says:

    wow. these are fantastic

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