VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Bark Painting
H0101957
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Chosen and explained by Toshio MATSUYAMA "My First Step". My research on Indigenous Australians started with this bark painting. While I was waiting for permission to stay at Gamardi, an Aboriginal outstation in Arnhem Land, I asked Johnny to make this bark painting, and I killed time by watching his painting process. Johnny took me to shoot waterfowls in the wetlands several times before he completed the painting. Thanks to him, I got to know the outline of the village within a week.

History of the Object
Especially made for the researcher Toshio Mattsuyama in 1982.

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Type
Painting 
Materials
bark of eucalyptus 
Measurements
Width 44 cm. Height 1.5 cm. Length 85 cm.  
Creator name
Mr. Johnny Bulunbulun 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Gamardi, Arnhem Land, NT, Australia 
Geography
Australia 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1982 
Function
Depicted here, is the land that their ancestors bequeathed, through the generations, to the artist, Johnny, and his peers. The cosmology of his group is thus transferred to the next generations. The circle at the center is a sacred spring where their ancestors’ spirits live. Around it are long necked turtle, magpie goose, water snake, leech, lotus, waterweed, and eucalyptus. 
Acquisition
Collected in 1982 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (Minpaku) 
Museum
National Museum of Ethnology 
Credit line
 

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