Australian Embassy

Press Release 2020 - Old Masters

     The first time for Indigenous bark paintings to be exhibited in Thailand

1 September 2020

Rare and meaningful Aboriginal bark paintings from the National Museum of Australia’s collection are making its Thailand debut in Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, showcasing the oldest continuing traditions of art Australia at one of the most artistic space in Thailand.

Bark painting, as practised by Aboriginal artists since the ancient times, is one of the great traditions of the world art. Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Artists celebrates the genius of master bark painters from northern Australia who worked on eucalyptus bark. The collection, painted between 1963 and 1984, highlights the work of 40 Arnhem Land master painters, including Narritjin Maymuru, Yirawala, Mawalan Marika and Malangi.

Arnhem Land in Northern Australia is part of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who have inhabited the Australian continent for at least 65,000 years and their rich and diverse culture is reflected in the barks’ intricate designs.

H.E. Mr Allan McKinnon PSM, Australian Ambassador to Thailand presided over the opening of the exhibition, saying “Old Masters is the most significant collection of Aboriginal bark paintings to ever exhibit in Thailand. I am pleased that Thai people and residents of Bangkok will have the opportunity to view and appreciate Australian Indigenous bark paintings.”

Old Masters has toured Australia, and internationally, including Taipei and China. The Touring Display comprises 14 graphic panels, including an introduction, map, and reprint of the original artworks.

The exhibition will be on display at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre from 1 – 13 September at 5th floor, Curved Wall. The event is open to public free of charge.

Click here for Thai version