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100 Faces of War

August 9 -

October 27

Exhibition overview

Sarhua is a beautiful rural town in the highlands of Peru’s Ayacucho region. The so-called Tablas de Sarhua (Boards of Sarhua) are some of the area’s most important symbolic objects. From the nineteenth century to the 1970s, the tablas were false beams that hung from the ceiling of Sarhuino homes, painted with motifs referencing ancient Andean religious beliefs and structural systems of reciprocity and social cohesion.

In the second half of the twentieth century, many Sarhuinos migrated to large cities due to serious social and economic crisis. The majority of the migrants settled in Lima, the nation’s capital. Migration forced the rural Sarhuinos to reconcile their own customs and ideologies with those of the urban centers. The move brought loneliness and frustration, but also the hope of a better life. In this new environment, the aesthetic production of the Sarhuino painters changed. In Lima, the Sarhuinos began painting scenes of rural life to record their collective history and former lifestyle. The painters later adapted the format as a means of criticizing political and social injustices and illustrating their personal experiences.

This exhibition explores the history of the Tablas de Sarhua through works developed by Primitivo Evanán Poma and the Asociación de Artistas Populares de Sarhua-ADAPS, as well as works produced by a new generation of Sarhuino painters. This body of work demonstrates how Sarhuino artists reconstructed and reshaped their art and identity by constantly negotiating and reworking their Andean origins and their status as contemporary subjects in a globalized world.

Curated by: Gabriela Germana

Exhibiting Artists: Asociación de Artistas Populares de Sarhua (ADAPS), Primitivo Evanán Poma, Valeriana Evanán Vivanco, Venuca Evanán Vivanco, Violeta Yupari Quispe, Cecilia Berrocal Gómez, Teófanes Pomasoncco

This exhibition was funded in part by The Ministry of Culture of Peru.