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Artwork by Paul Bong on display

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Artwork by Paul Bong on display

28 Aug 2015

Paul Bong

Shielding culture

On the walkway to the National Museum's galleries is the new acquisitions case, which displays some of the most exciting new objects and artworks in our collections.

Today we installed Crossroads, an etching by Aboriginal artist and printmaker Paul Bong (pictured right), a Yidinji man from the Babinda-Gordonvale region south of Cairns.

Crossroads is on display at the Museum until 5 October 2015.

An etching featuring an oval shaped shield that is of different shades of brown with a white cross running across the middle of it.

From the artist

'My ancestors defended our country and our people with these shields. I defend my culture today with my shields – in art.

My given tribal name is Bindur Bullin, after a great warrior. I am a descendant of the Yidinji tribe who occupied the fertile rainforest lands from Cairns in the north to Babinda in the south and west into the Atherton Tablelands as far as Kairi.

The white dots on the shield represent the bullet holes the white men shot through our culture during invasion, killing out whole generations and clans of my people.

The bullet holes are in the shape of the Southern Cross because this all happened under the Southern Cross ...

The breaks in the shield represent the breaks in my culture that happened through the presence of Christianity – hence the cross-shape.'

Pictured left: Crossroads, 2014, by Paul Bong, Yidinji language group. National Museum of Australia.

Read more about Paul Bong and his artworks



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