The exhibition in Japan
WARNING: Relatives of the artist are advised that images of Emily Kame Kngwarreye and other Aboriginal people who might be deceased appear in this exhibition and website.
Utopia: The Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye was developed by the National Museum of Australia for display in Japan in partnership with Japan's largest newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, and two of its most prestigious venues, the National Museum of Art, Osaka and the National Art Center, Tokyo.
The exhibition was on display at the National Museum of Art in Osaka from 26 February to 13 April 2008 and at the National Art Center in Tokyo from 28 May to 28 July 2008.
The exhibition featured key works from public, private and corporate collections and is the largest collection of works by a single Australian artist to travel outside Australia. The exhibition proved a great success with Japanese audiences, and had highly acclaimed seasons at both venues. It astounded, delighted and informed a Japanese public otherwise unfamiliar with Australian contemporary culture and history.
The exhibition inspired an unprecedented level of coverage by Japanese print and electronic media of an unknown artist. Despite intense competition for exposure on Japan's television networks, TV Tokyo produced an art segment and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) developed a high-quality 45-minute documentary. Both crews visited Utopia in the Northern Territory, the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and other Australian locations for their productions.
Canberra-based Ronin Productions followed the development of Utopia: The Genius of Emily Kame Kngwarreye for two and a half years, producing a film to be aired in early 2009.