Exactly one year ago I was on Tahiti. It is one of the most famous destinations in the South Pacific and a dream of many people.
Always I reflect and compare this imaginations with reality. Tahiti is a small french colony with special status. It is incredible expensive and Papeete, the capital, is dirty, noisy and full of concrete. To go to beautifull places you needs a car.
We stayed long time in Papeete and I couldn´t find a nice and quiet place in public space. I also couldn´t find historical artefacts and a special tahitian cultural lifestyle except flowers behind the ears or flower wreathes on the head or as welcome and bye bye presents.
Our friend Andreas Dettloff, an artist, who is married with a tahitian woman, lives there for many years. He helped us a lot with accomodation, contacts, translations and transportation with his car.
We went together to a Tahitian New Year ceremony at November 28. Hundreds of people sang together very special tahitian songs. This was a very special event, tahitian people started to revert there own culture right now.
I realised you can get a very good overview about South Pacific art and culture in Europe, for example in the Stattliche Museen Dahlem. But not on the original islands,…to much influences from outside destroyed old knowledge. Gauguin, on of the most famous person connected with this island complained it more than 100 years ago. He painted his dreams less reality. But sometimes you can find images like Gauguins paintings on hidden places.
One of my greatest experiences was a jungle trip with Jean Paul Forest, a french artist who lives in Tahiti. We (he, Andreas Dettloff, Alfred Banze and I) went together into the amazing mountains, walked up in a small river against the current, climbed over branches, stones, lianas and climbed up rock walls with ropes to find his hidden artworks in the jungle.