New exhibition, ''The Art of Tiki'' explores the development of Tiki pop culture in America since it was first introduced in the 1950s. Rollo Ross reports.
'The Art of Tiki' exhibition is opening in Los Angeles and depicts the progression of Tiki culture in America since it was first embraced by US soldiers stationed in the South Pacific during World War Two. SOUNDBITE La Luz de Jesus gallery director, Matt Kennedy, saying (English): "These soldiers saw this stuff and became good fans of it and wanting to have a little piece of that to bring back to cities they were from, whether it be Philadelphia or New York or Los Angeles, it started to come back." While Tiki is originally traditional Polynesian and Melanesian carvings in wood or lava, American Tiki has become its own unique pop culture, says 'The Art of Tiki' author Sven Kirsten. SOUNDBITE 'The Art of Tiki' author, Sven Kirsten, saying (English): "It definitely has to be recognizable as a Polynesian carving or piece of art, something from the so-called South Seas, Polynesia or Melanesia which is Papua New Guinea style. It has to have a certain amount of whimsy in it because that what marks the American version of the original carvings and the third element to them is they have to have some modernism in it. Tiki is a great game to play because it's not only art and design, it's cocktail culture, it's fashion, it encompasses so many facets of culture and life and you'll always find something new in it." The exhibition at the La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles will continue until October 29.