“LEIMALO” a surf and ocean exhibition will be opening at 5pm, on Wednesday March 28, 2018 at Fondation Suzanne Bastien Gallery on Pango Road.

Jean Pierre Niptik - Pleple wetem Leimalo

Jean Pierre Niptik – Pleple wetem Leimalo

Featuring works by Jean Pierre Niptick, Gideon Arudali, Arlene Bax, Marie St Hilaire, Esmie Jimmy, Holly Pepper, Narsong Taleo and more. The exhibition celebrates and explores the strong connection surfing and the ocean has in Vanuatu with community, culture and life through art. The art of surfing was the sole focus of last year’s Leimalo exhibition. This year sees the exhibition exploring our oceans as not only a playground for surfing but how it also supports us and our need to support it.

The show also marks the opening ceremony of the Vanuatu Surf Association 2018 Vanuatu Leimalo Surf Festival, (March 29 to April 1) Vanuatu’s premier domestic surf competition which is open to international competitors. Vanuatu Surfing Association comprises of local Ni-Vanuatu as well as expatriate Australian, New Zealand and French citizens. It provides opportunities for competition, surf and non-surf related training and education, international travel and advocacy on environmental and social issues that affect the communities VSA work with. VSA works closely with local communities, with a specific focus on youth and females to create social good through the stoke and joy of surfing.

In Vanuatu, the expression “Leimalo” comes from the local language of Pango in South Efate. It is sung out to the female deity of the ocean while surfing asking for a good wave to come. There is a unique relationship with the ocean and surfing in Vanuatu. The ocean surrounding its islands provides playground that cannot be manufactured or owned but enjoyed and feared with great respect.

Whilst there is some conjecture about surfing’s origins, the sport continues to progress and spread throughout the world and has at times affected popular fashion, music, literature, films, art, language, and more.

Opening evening will coincide with the Fondation’s monthly fundraising event and will feature live music, art, film, kakae, kava and drinks  and everyone is welcome.

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