Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Artists

Date : July 4, 2018 - September 2, 2018
Venue : Gallery N11
Hosted by : National Museum of China, National Museum of Australia

Bark painting is an art form created by Australian Aboriginals, themed with primitive religion and nature, so as to express their understanding of the world and record their history and legends. The rich contents of bark painting reflect the faith, lifestyle and customs of the Aboriginals, have distinct characteristics of the primitive arts of Australia and are an encyclopedia that records the spiritual world and cultural traditions of the Australian Aboriginals.

The exhibition will showcase the Aboriginal artists who live at Arnhem Land of the Peninsula Region on the Northern Territory coastline of Australia and their bark painting works. Covering an area of about 97,000 square kilometers, Arnhem Land has been occupied by indigenous people. It is one of cradles of the culture of Australian Aboriginals and is famous for its unique and primitive indigenous culture.

The exhibition consists of three parts by region, showcasing artists from the Eastern Arnhem Land, Central Arnhem Land and Western Arnhem Land and their distinct bark paintings. The 154 rare exhibits include 122 bark paintings and 32 wood carvings created by 46 artists including Narritjin Maymuru, and Yirawala, as well as painting materials and tools.