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Tidal Kin: Stories from the Pacific

The new free exhibit showcases a largely overlooked period of history through a mix of visual markers and audio recordings.
By Marley Ng
October 10, 2023
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By Marley Ng
October 10, 2023
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in partnership with

The Chau Chak Wing Museum is all about bringing the past and present together. Not only does its collection range from ancient artefacts to contemporary art, but the exhibits themselves use advanced technology to bring historical stories to life. The museum's latest free exhibit is no exception, featuring an array of cultural objects presented alongside a stirring soundscape. On now, Tidal Kin: Stories from the Pacific explores an unfamiliar segment of history.

A photo of cultural objects in the 'Tidal Kin: Stories from the Pacific' exhibit at the Chau Chak Wing Museum.

The exhibit shares the stories of eight Pacific Islander visitors who arrived in Sydney during the 18th and 19th centuries against the backdrop of an evolving port city. From the arrival of Tahitian navigator Tupaia and the HMB Endeavour in 1770 to the introduction of the White Australia Policy in 1901, the period was rife with bustling commerce, tumultuous power struggles and changing policies.

A photo of cultural objects in the 'Tidal Kin: Stories from the Pacific' exhibit at the Chau Chak Wing Museum.

Learn about their journey through a special visual and auditory experience — explore objects like a ceremonial yam bag, conch trumpet or decorated cloth while immersed in audio recorded by the Pacific Islanders' descendants in their native language.

A photo of cultural objects in the 'Tidal Kin: Stories from the Pacific' exhibit at the Chau Chak Wing Museum.

Tidal Kin: Stories from the Pacific is on now. Get more details at the Chau Chak Wing Museum's website.

All images: David James

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