Women and Art in Fiji

A couple of months ago The Fiji Times Online ran a story written by Matilda Simmons that I thought was interesting and would like to summarize for you. The article was titled “Woman Power in Art” and was about an artist in Fiji named Asinate Qima Grace.

Some say art is the expression of human creative skill and imagination. Whether it be in dance, music or visual form such as painting or sculpture, it’s the beauty or emotional power that makes it endearing.

After visiting some of the art galleries around Fiji, one is assured of the great depth in creativity of their local artists. The splash of colors and the traditional designs makes them stand out from the rest of the world. Fijian artists, like other Pacific artists, have their own element of appeal. While some have reached the pinnacle of their career, we have yet to see an artist break through on the international art arena. Here’s hoping we see that in our lifetime.

An emerging artist who is making a name for herself is Asinate Qima Grace. The Ba native took part in her first ever public exhibition at the Sofitel Art Festival last month. The 22-year-old is a self-taught artist with her work mostly done with ink and soft pencils on paper. Just recently she started on acrylic on canvas.

Her art has elements of her cultural Fijian heritage, with a modern and contemporary twist. She says she considers her art as a hobby, mostly giving her pieces to family, friends and just anyone who’s interested in her art. “I hope one day my work will be known professionally,” said the artist who is based at Sigavou Studios. “At the moment I am learning new techniques to better my work.”


One of her latest works is “Marama Qaqa”, which is iTaukei for “strong woman” or “woman’s strength”. Grace said those women had nurtured her to be the person she was today. They include her grandmothers, from the maternal and paternal sides and her dear mother. “Their strength, unwavering faith and unique iconic buiniga (traditional Fijian hair style), have always been my inspiration. I want to follow in their footsteps, and hopefully impact a new generation of women in her culture.”

To look at collections from the Sigavou Studios, simply click here.

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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