"Illusions" investigates the myth of the Vahine, challenging identity norms through the interplay of body and spirit. Inspired by Paul Gauguin's art, her work emphasizes the complexities of identity and the beauty of the soul beyond physicality.
Exploring the Myth of the Vahine and Gender Dysphoria: Reflections on Identity.
Namsa uses depictions of Mahus and Rae Raes in scenes inspired by Paul Gauguin's tropical paintings to illustrate the myth of the Vahine, which has been prominent in Western art since Gauguin's 1891 journey to Tahiti. Gauguin's colonial perspective portrayed Polynesian women as attractive, desirable, and submissive, with his paintings suggesting a mystical connection between their bodies, souls, and the land.
Namsa's work challenges traditional ideas of identity by examining society's perception of the interplay between the physical body and the spirit. Her depictions aim to reveal the true beauty of the soul, likening the models to mythical creatures that exist between reality and fantasy. These figures are adorned with cultural and social ornaments, blending into nature as they seek to discover their true essence.
The sense of strangeness in Namsa's work implies a discord between the body and spirit, reflecting differences in expression, emotion, and perception. By exploring the hybridization of genders, she offers new insights into the complexities of identity beyond the physical form.