Indigenous Australian Art Exhibition Opens in Bandung

An exhibition of Indigenous Australian visual art opened Thursday evening at the Galeri Soemardja at Bandung Institute of Technology, according to the Australian Embassy here on its official web site on Friday.

Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty said he hoped the exhibition would help deepen understanding in Indonesia of modern Australia.

“It is a great privilege to introduce Indonesian audiences to work produced over the past 25 years by some of Australia’s leading Indigenous artists,” the Ambassador said. “The artworks explore a range of issues in Australian society, including stereotypes and cultural identity.” He said that personal and cultural relationships really are the foundation of the Australia-Indonesia relationship and Message Stick provides a powerful medium through which Indonesians can deepen their understanding of contemporary Indigenous Australia.

Message Stick: Indigenous Identity in Urban Australia tells the stories of some of the complex perspectives of contemporary Australian Indigenous identity.

Message Stick features a selection of significant work from Artbank created by 11 Indigenous artists living in urban areas across Australia. The artists include Reko Rennie, who will this year undertake an Asialink arts residency with Cemeti Art House in Yogyakarta.

The ambassador said that it was a great pleasure to bring such an outstanding contemporary exhibition to Bandung. Indonesia is the final leg of Message Stick’s international tour, which started in Turkey in September 2012 and has included stops in South Africa, India, Thailand and the Philippines.” He said many people were familiar with the Indigenous contemporary art movement of the Western and Central Deserts. The pieces that comprise the Message Stick exhibition are quite different: they tell personal stories about life in urban Australia over the past three decades.

The exhibition will be on show at Galeri Soemardja until 4 June 2014, before travelling to Jakarta. The artworks were exhibited earlier this month at Maha Art Gallery in Denpasar.

It is a part of the Australian Embassy Jakarta’s Arts and Cultural Program 2014. The program includes concerts, visual art exhibitions, dance, literature, fashion and a science research seminar series.

The Arts and Cultural Program 2014 is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia International Cultural Council, an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Arts and Cultural Program 2014 is generously supported by the ANZ Bank, the Australia-Indonesia Institute, Queensland University of Technology, Curtin University, Deakin University, Ernst and Young, Flinders University, Macquarie University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland and the University of Tasmania.

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