Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun: Unceded Territories
Vancouver artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun exhibits in Unceded Territories as part of MOA's 2015/2016 season. Image: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, An Indian Game (Juggling the Books), 1995.

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia will feature three new major exhibitions as part of its 2015/2016 season.

Founded in 1949, MOA’s mission is to inspire understanding of and respect for world arts and cultures. Today it is Canada’s largest teaching museum and its new season reflects the diversity of its offerings.

Each exhibit in the season will showcase collections with themes ranging from spirituality in contemporary Taiwan, to the colonial occupation and environmental concerns of First Nations in Canada, and the impact of ecological instability on cultural expressions in Papua New Guinea.

“Our 2015/16 season features three unique exhibitions, each separated by geography, but united in their authentic articulation of distinct ways of life,” says MOA Director Dr Anthony Shelton. “MOA invites Vancouverites to explore with us topics and philosophies, from religion and spirituality, to First Nations issues and environmental concerns that are timely and relevant.”

Exhibitions featured in MOA’s 2015/16 season include:

(In)visible: The Spiritual World of Taiwan Through Contemporary Art
形 (無 )形 : 台灣當代藝術的靈性世界
November 20, 2015 – April 3, 2016

The Canadian premiere of (In)visible explores the coexistence of modernity and tradition in contemporary Taiwan while examining the significance of the spiritual world, including the myths and legends sacred to Taiwanese culture. Curated by Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura (MOA Curator, Asia), (In)visible features artworks from seven internationally-renowned Taiwanese artists including Anli Genu, Charwei Tsai, Chiu Yu-Wen, Li Jiun-Yang, Tu Wei- Cheng, Yuma Taru, and Walis Labai.

A featured exhibition as part of Spotlight Taiwan, an initiative launched in 2014  dedicated to exploring the country’s multicultural identity, this stunning and diverse exhibition will showcase textile installation – inspired by traditional Atayal weaving, paper cutting, video art, puppetry, sculpture, painting, and drawing – all with the expressed desire to enrich and educate museum visitors about Taiwan’s powerful, multifaceted culture.

The Man from Tara, artist unknown. Part of In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man at MOA in March.

In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man: Contemporary Art of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
Opens March 1, 2016

The Sepik river of Papua New Guinea is one of the largest river systems in the world, extraordinarily beautiful, but seldom visited. It is here that the Iatmul people, who live along its banks, have created internationally renowned works of art primarily inspired by stories of the majestic crocodile as the primordial creator. This exhibition, In the Footprint  of the Crocodile Man, will not only showcase the finest contemporary collection of these works in Canada, it will also raise awareness of environmental risks from proposed logging and mining operations which threaten the cultural and natural environs of the region.

Curated by Dr. Carol E. Mayer (MOA Curator, Africa/Pacific) In the Footprint of the Crocodile Man will display exquisite sculptural works complemented by extraordinary photographs and videos prepared specifically for this exhibition.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun: Unceded Territories
May 10 – October 16, 2016

Vancouver artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, of Coast Salish and Okanagan descent, is showcased in this provocative exhibition of new and existing paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installation works that confront the colonialist suppression of First Nations peoples, and the ongoing struggle for Aboriginal rights to lands, resources, and sovereignty. Twenty years since his last major Canadian solo show, Unceded Territories will demonstrate the progression of Yuxweluptun’s artistry and ideas through hard-hitting, polemical, but also playful artworks that span his influential 30-year career.

Co-curated by Karen Duffek (MOA Curator, Contemporary Visual Arts & Pacific Northwest) and Tania Willard (artist and independent curator, Secwepemc Nation), this collection promises colour and controversy through Yuxweluptun’s original visions – a critical and impassioned melding of modernism, monumentality, and Indigenous perspectives.

As part of the exhibition, an accompanying full-colour publication featuring essays by guest writers and selected works by Yuxweluptun will be available in May 2016 at the MOA Shop.