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Bisj Poles, Sculptures from the Rainforest

Award: Yellow Pencil

Yellow Pencil / Environmental Design / Exhibitions / 2008

The Tropical Museum’s Light Hall has been transformed into an exciting, magical forest of 58 Bisj poles. These impressive wooden sculptures, each with a specific expression and symbolism, are used by the Indonesian Asmat people during their ancestral worship rituals at the Bisj ceremony. The Bisj poles are surrounded by a large screen with projections of Asmat people and glimpses of the Bisj ceremony. A 30-minute theatrical performance of documentary clips and authentic sound bites, combined with a light game of colours and shadows, bring the Bisj poles to life. Six unique films explain the Bisj rituals from different perspectives. The visitor is absorbed into the Bisj feast and experiences the intensity of this ancient ritual.

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