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Papunya Painting: Out of the Australian Desert was on show at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing from 10 June until 26 August 2010.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Aboriginal artists from Australia's Central and Western Desert regions created artworks that transformed understandings of Aboriginal art. On canvases, boards and whatever materials they could find, these artists boldly experimented with colour and style in the telling of their sacred Dreaming stories. This exhibition highlighted the National Museum of Australia's extraordinary collection of these paintings.

Introductory text


Many of the paintings in this exhibition tell stories of the activities of sacred ancestral beings. Aboriginal people refer to these collectively as ‘the Dreaming’.

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This exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Australia in collaboration with Vivien Johnson. The National Museum of Australia gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Philip Batty, Bob Edwards, John Kean, Vincent Megaw, Fred Myers, Tim Johnson, Film Australia and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd.

A travelling exhibition developed and presented by the National Museum of Australia.


National Art Museum of China. Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program. Imagine Australia - Year of Australian Culture in China.

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