The exhibition will present the decorative art of the peoples of the Amur river basin; an art which embodies meaning and reveals the specific ontological construction of these peoples in their relationship with the visible and invisible world. The peoples presented – Nivkh, Nanai, the Ainu, Orotch and Hezhe (a Chinese minority) – founded their ways of life prior to the mid-20th century on the river Amur, which was their source of life and prosperity.
This exhibition presents a collection of 230 sculptures linked to the Sepik Valley, a large swampland in the north of Papua New Guinea. The exhibition gradually unveils a major figure common to all cultures of the 'lower' and 'middle' Sepik: the founding ancestor(s). The exhibition illustrates the multiple forms and variations in which these ancestral figures appear, from their public forms to their 'secret' forms.