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WaterMark – The signature of Life

IDAIA – International Development for Australian Indigenous Art, with the support of the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong & Macau, the Australia-China Council and Shashin Photos, present:

Judy Napangardi Watson - Desert Oak Dreaming - 2011 - 183x122cm

Judy Napangardi Watson – Desert Oak Dreaming, 2011 – 183x122cm

WaterMark – The signature of life is a highly curated exhibition of Australian Aboriginal art. Opening on 6 September 2012 in Hong Kong, the exhibition gathers thirty spectacular paintings created by top collectible Aboriginal artists. Coming for most of them from private collections, these masterpieces are beautiful examples of their artistic ingenuity, talent and beauty.

Water is a symbol of vitality and plays a crucial role in desert life; consequently it is an essential part of the Aboriginal mythical creation stories (dreamings). The paintings gathered for the exhibition present a rich diversity of expressions of the water pattern, as specific sites or as a symbolic presence. The exhibition allows to reflect on this sign and its symbolic value in the Aboriginal acrylic painting as well as in society. It also allows artistic talents and individualities to emerge.

The main body of selected works originates from three major, historical art communities: Papunya (Papunya Tula Artists, NT), Yuendumu (Warlukurlangu Artists, NT) and Balgo Hill (Warlayiriti Artists, WA).

The featured artists are prominent painters and rising stars who have played important roles in their art centres. The list of artists includes notably Judy Napangardi Watson, Eubena Nampitjin, Helicopter, Elizabeth Nyumi, Theresa Nowee, Ningura Napurrula, Joseph Jurra Tjapaljarri, Yukulji Napangati.

WaterMark also includes paintings by artists from emerging art centres to complete the show, as a glimpse of what is today’s Aboriginal art in other ‘rising stars’ communities: Amata (Tjala Arts, SA), the Yulparitja Artists of Bidyadanga (WA), Martumili Artists (WA), and Warakurna Artists (WA).

WaterMark illustrates also the new cultural links and achievements between China and Australia. Indeed, Aboriginal art has gain much visibility over the past two years in Asia, notably thanks the Year of Australian Culture, celebrated in China in 2011. On this occasion, a few institutional Aboriginal art exhibitions toured in China among which ‘Our Land/Our Body’, presenting 65 major Aboriginal artworks from the Warburton Collections. Facing an important success (a quarter million visitors through seven cities), this exhibition will tour in six other Chinese cities in 2013.

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