The Contemporary Australian art from the Balgo Hills Western Australia is on display at Beijing’s National Art Museum of China, as part of the first event for the Year of Australian Culture in China.

The Balgo exhibition is a collaborative touring project between Artbank and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The exhibition is being featured along side the National Museum of Australia’s Papunya Painting – “Out of the Australian Desert”.

Th exhibition has already received wide ranging media interest, with the opening being attended by the Governor-General of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC. The Bangarra Dance Company was one of the highlight performance at the grand openning of the show.

The Balgo exhibition shows a colourful counter point to the Papunya artworks. While steeped in deeply conventional Dreamings and tribal law, the vibrant paintings from Balgo show a current approach to art making. Their use of bright colours and acrylic media provides a contemporary method of painting. Balgo was bookended with Papunya Painting, which showcases a more traditional approach to Indigenous art practice.

While Papunya Painting from the National Museum of Australia is built on a more anthropological and cultural curatorial premise, the approach of the Artbank exhibition is very much contextualised in the framework of contemporary Australian art as a whole.