Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe (Sheroana, Amazon Forest, 1971) began his artistic career in the 1990s, when he learned to make artisanal paper out of endemic plant fibres from Mexican artist Laura Anderson Barbata. Though paper is not traditionally part of the Yanomami material culture, Sheroanawe adopted this medium to register and preserve his people’s legacy, undertaking a contemporary revision of their cosmogony and imagery. Employing a synthetic visual language characterised by formal rigor, reduced color palette and the serialisation of pictorial elements, he creates an ‘archive in process’ of a culture that has been endangered since the arrival of the nape. In face of this erasure, Hakihiiwe’s works constitute acts of resistance by making permanent the patterns used in body painting, by registering the fauna and flora of his surroundings and by retrieving the mythological narratives of his ancestors. The works included in the exhibition are remarkable examples of Sheroanawe’s sophisticated and precise technique, and of how he appropriates a traditional Western material (paper) as a medium for conveying Yanomami cosmogony.
Installation shots
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