An art culture that is thousands of years old has not only evolved successfully but is now a commercial triumph internationally, too.


Nov 7-21, Pace Gallery, PJ

MY fascination with contemporary Australian aboriginal art “ in particular the dot paintings “ began at an art exhibition in Singapore. I remember arriving at the hall’s entrance and standing on the threshold, my attention arrested by a striking canvas filled entirely with dots that was hanging at the opposite end of the room.

The dots seemed to be in various hues of pink, with a profusion of brown and black dots here and there. I had the sense of being high up in the air, looking down at a vast landscape.

The nearer I got to the painting, the more details of the land emerged. The dots on the canvas seemed to camouflage waterways and small rises in the land’s topography. Growth surrounded the waterways, depicted in an abundance of colours. It was like flying over the vast desert in the heart of Australia getting an aerial view of the landscape.

I fell in love with the painting and found out that it was by the famous Australian aboriginal artist Emily Kngawarye. The painting was one in a series of four landscapes she had painted of the four seasons, summer, autumn, winter and spring. The work I had fallen for was a depiction of the land in autumn. It is a love that remains even though that painting was taken from me more than a year ago.