From the very first time he laid eyes on the work of Emily Kame Kngwarreye (c.1910-96), in the 1998 retrospective at the Queensland Art Gallery, Akira Tatehata knew that it was something special. At that time, Tatehata was a curator at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan’s second-biggest city. His career path took him to the university, where he became a professor, then back to the Museum, as director. Reserved and scholarly, with dark-rimmed glasses and an unruly forelock that keeps tumbling over his forehead, Mr. Tatehata does not appear to be a passionate man. Yet from his first encounter with Emily’s work he conceived a burning desire to hold a show in Japan.

Read more at the Aboriginal Art Directory feature section.