Oceania makes up a third of the worlds surface area. It is divided into three zones: Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia. The populations of these regions have given birth to highly contrasting types of art honouring their gods, their ancestors or the spirits of Nature as well as jewellery and personal ornaments.

Melanesian art boasts a diversity of forms, drawing its inspiration from a mythology in which human beings and animals seem to readily interchange shapes. In Polynesia, art was principally dedicated to sovereigns, considered direct descendants of the gods, while that of Micronesia is characterised by its outstanding refinement and simplicity.

The art works in this title many previously unpublished are placed in context by specialist writers. With contributions by Ingrid Heermann, Karen Jacobs, Bart Suys en Pauline van der Zee.

To accompany the exhibition of the same name at the ING Cultural Centre, Brussels (23 October 2008 – 15 March 2009).