There is an interesting array of shows and exhibitions currently on and upcoming at the Musée du Quai Branly – making for a potentially busy autumn and winter. I quite enjoy the exhibitions at the MQB ,more so than at other museums because it showcases art and music of African, Asian and Oceanic origin, adding a bit of flavour to the extensive other museums which focus solely on European art. It has exhibitions that are always interesting for both children and adults alike.
I took my daughter to the Tatoueurs, Tatoués (Tattoists, Tattooed) exhibition. The exhibition is an extensive presentation of the world of tattooing from the Oriental, African, Oceanic and Western worlds; from the ritual to the purely decorative.
At various places around the exhibition are silicone models of body parts that have been used to illustrate some of the more detailed works of old and new artists. There are jars of preserved tattooed pieces of skin for the more gory sections, and some of the more basic tools used in past and present.
It’s a history lesson into an art form that has become more mainstream and acceptable in Western society, but is ironically slowly being lost in Asian and Oceanic societies where it used to be a cultural practice for many. Tattooing in these societies was a rite of passage, or a badge of identity – where the marking of one’s tattoo communicated everything about origin and clan.
It’s a well-curated exhibit of an art form that has its history rooted in tradition for some societies and in infamy for others.
The exhibition is on until the 18 October, 2014.
Musée du Quai Branly
37 quai Branly