By María Teresa Chadwick, MA Arts and Science at Central Saint Martins
In an obstinate world to grasp certainties, we are loosing the sense of wonder and tactile capacity to face reality. Technology progress acts as a double edge sword, on the one hand offers us many commodities, but on the other hand ends up disconnecting us from our animal and tactile instincts. We have changed the experience of contemplating a sunset, for a selfie in the sunset or a time-lapse that we can see through our smartphone at any time of the day. Even though Easter Island is the most isolated culture in the world because of globalization, it has also been victim in some way of these changes.
Whereas in the XIX Century voyagers as William J. Thomson strived to ‘civilized’ the poor ‘savage natives’; and Jesuits struggled to ‘converse’ them, in order to keep them away from their ‘pagan Gods’… Nowadays, as many ethnic languages are disappearing, contemporary travellers attempt to preserve ethnic cultures. Maybe, we need to start missing things to realize that diversity is the principal motor to encourage creativity and innovation.
Fusion – Haka Piri is a hand crafted 30 jewellery pieces collection based in the archaeological culture of Easter Island. ‘Haka Piri’ means ‘let’s try to gather’ in the native language of Easter Island, thus was the best translation found to embody the collection’s soul. The principal objective of this project was to fuse the vision of the Chilean continental artist Tere Chad, with ancestral elements of the Easter Island Polynesian culture; in order to reassess ethnically cultural heterogeneity. Considering as well that Easter Island was declared World Cultural Heritage Site by Unesco in 1995, for its uniqueness.
The project also arose as a reaction against massive produced crafts in behalf of that most of the Island souvenirs are produced in China or other places. Therefore appeals to preserve crafts and the ability of working with the hands. As technology, specially screen touch devices, somehow depart us from our natural instincts; Fusion – Haka Piri invites to reflect about the relevance of our tactile capability of feeling the world. Regarding as well that tactility is one of our more primitive instincts.
This hand crafted jewellery collection has already been exhibit at three continents. It opened in Oceania, in Aukara Gallery, Bene Tuki’s workshop, Hanga Roa, Easter Island in April of 2016. Then it went to South America, to the Decorative Arts Museum, in Santiago, Chile, between December 2016 and January 2017. Afterwards was displayed at Tate Modern in a Tate Exchange with other Central Saint Martin’s students in This is an Art School, at January 2017.
Within the exhibitions, Tere Chad has also organized: cultural visits with local schools to include the community, origami packaging workshop’s intending to encourage more sustainable ways of understanding packaging, a talk with guided visit, and a concert with a rock band from Easter Island. “As an artist, it is always an experience which enriches; sharing and collaborating with different ideas. She works with the cultural fusion, whereas we work with the musical fusion. What can be better than to fuse ourselves with Easter Island culture” comments Mito Manutomatoma, the vocalist of the Easter Island rock band Mith and Fusion about his experience playing in Fusion – Haka Piri at Decorative Arts Museum at December 2016.
It is going to be shown for the forth time at the Embassy of Chile, 37 – 41 Old Queen St. Westminster, London, SW1H9JA (St. James Park Station – Circle Line.) The venue will be opened free to public. The attendants to the opening at 18:30 on Tuesday 25th of April 2017, will be received with Chilean wines and Easter Island cakes. It will be possible to visit the exhibition from the 26th of April to the 19th of May, from Monday to Friday’s between 10:00 and 17:30 hrs. Besides the jewellery, it will also be possible to see some works from Easter Islander natives.
In a world obsessed on rational explanations, the curation invites to delve in Easter Island mysticism and mysteries. Because, why should we need answers for everything, maybe we just need to recover or tactile way of feeling existence and surprise capacity.
- Published an article about the project at Interalia Magazine: http://www.interaliamag.org/emerging-ideas/maria-teresa-chadwick-fusion-haka-piri/
- Catalogue of the project online: https://www.behance.net/gallery/31854641/Fusion-Haka-Piri