pacific meeting and exhibition
Young Tongan girls dressed in dresses made of ngatu © Melemanu Bloomfield

Google Meets ICH

Asia Pacific is a region of diverse ICH. ICHCAP has initiated a new project to vividly display ICH with Google Cultural Institute since last year. The project is an interesting online exhibition to show Pacific ICH first, considering an enormous size of the region. A total of seven teams are participating in this exhibition, which was unveiled at the 2017 Network Meeting for ICH Safeguarding in the Pacific held in Palau last month. The exhibition includes Palau’s rich heritage in nature and culture, ngatu (traditional barkcloth) of Tonga, and inspired crafts of Samoa. The exhibition, which consists of various images and familiar stories, is featured on the Google Arts & Culture website.

Google Arts & Culture is an online exhibition platform provided by Google to show cultural heritage and works of art from all around the world. Around 1,000 arts & culture institutions in 70 countries have forged a partnership with Google to display digital materials online. ICHCAP signed a partnership in 2016. The Pacific exhibition is unique in that the curators have selected exhibits with practitioner communities to deliver their perspective. The images and videos on display will bring the lifestyle of local communities and cultural heritage of the Pacific vividly to life before viewers’ eyes. The curators have adopted high-resolution images to help viewers see ICH in detail. For example, they can see Tongan women make ngatu together by pounding it with sticks via sound and video.

Pacific islanders have well-preserved their traditional culture; however, their cultural heritage is relatively unfamiliar to outsiders. Through the exhibition, ICHCAP hopes to provide an opportunity to access ICH easily and conveniently, and deliver its meaning and value via the voice of local communities. It has also made a coloring book with representative images displayed in the exhibition to ignite interest among the youth. The coloring book is downloadable on the ICHCAP website.

The exhibition is on display at the Google Arts & Culture website and mobile application, with more exhibitions of ICH in Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji to be updated from June. Your interest and support would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post.