A perceptive exploration of the inventory of Kanak cultural heritage and the meticulous investigative work carried out by Roger Boulay over two decades.
Roger Boulay, an employee at the Kanak cultural development agency from 1979 to 1998, was tasked by Jean-Marie Tjibaou and his team with an extraordinary assignment: to list the items of Kanak cultural heritage dispersed in museums and public collections worldwide. He carried out this extensive inventorying in close collaboration with Emmanuel Kasarhérou, now Deputy Director for Heritage and Collections and Head of Scientific Coordination of the collections of the musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac. It was a painstaking study, documented by over 3,000 sketches and fine watercolours of the objects catalogued.
Through a dialogue between original notebooks and works kept in the museum, the exhibition offers visitors a journey into ‘a catalogue adventure’ to understand the concrete reality and shed light on the stages, players and memory issues of this huge task.