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Papua New Guinean art

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Title: Papua New Guinean art  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Oceanian art, Culture of Oceania, Hivinau, Pa'o'a, Walap
Collection: Art by Nationality, Papua New Guinean Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Papua New Guinean art

Papua New Guinean art has a rich and diverse tradition. In particular, it is world-famous for carved wooden sculpture: masks, canoes, story-boards. Many of the best collections of these are held in overseas museums.

Some of the artists regarded as being in the first wave of contemporary art in Papua New Guinea are: Mathias Kauage OBE (born 1944), Timothy Akis, Jakupa Ako and Joe Nalo, all from the tough urban area of Port Moresby. Kauage won Australia's Blake Prize for Religious Art, four of his works are in the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art, and he had a solo show in 2005 at the Horniman Museum, "Kauage's Visions: Art from Papua New Guinea". Other noted Papua New Guinean visual artists include Larry Santana, Martin Morububuna and Heso Kiwi.[1]

The works shown below, in composite images, were done while the artists were visiting California but are traditional in content and medium. See


Philip (Ebial) Yobale originally hailing from Chimbu Province in Papua New Guinea (1978-2008).  Philip was a successful artist in Papua New Guinea before his death in 2008.  Philip’s work demonstrates a wide and accomplished range of mediums and subjects. Yobale is a crucial artist in the development of Papua New Guinea contemporary art and probably the most significant artist of his time. Many comment on his propensity for including birds and eyes in various suggestions however those who knew him explain he placed the eye in his work as representative of the soul.  His incredibly dextrous use of this, combined with such polished delivery of the optical illusion equate to very sophisticated compositions.  In his later years he often chose to present both social and political comment which had been rare in the recent history of Papua New Guinea contemporary work.

Although Philip died in 2008 and exhibited extensively throughout his career, the general public can currently access two of his most outstanding works in the foyer of The Holiday Inn, Port Moresby, and in Port Moresby at Art Stret Ltd., Steamship Hardware Compound, Waigani Drive, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea. 

Philip’s work is also in the Australian National Gallery with his Spirituality and my vision” 1999 Place made: Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea. Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper linocut, printed in colour inks, from multiple blocks Support: white wove "butter" paper

The Nouméa Biennale (an art fair in New Caledonia) includes works from Papua New Guinea.

See also


  1. ^ Niugini Arts

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