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NATIONAL CULTURAL COMMISSION

PNG’S RECENT ART EXHIBITION IN AUSTRALIA A GREAT SUCCESS

Papua New Guinea’s first international contemporary arts exhibition held recently in Australia has been described as “a great success”.

The exhibition staged at the Tanks Arts Gallery in Cairns was hosted by the National Cultural Commission as part of its service towards promoting and marketing local Papua New Guinean artisans and their artworks overseas.

Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Isi Henry Leonard, who opened the display, said the exhibition was a great success, and commended the National Cultural Commission for opening market avenues for the local artists, whom he described to have been ignored by past administrations and left in the dark to fend for themselves.

Our artists and painters have been left to fend for themselves over many years without having a proper market space to sell their artworks and paintings. This dilemma became a challenge for National Cultural Commission, which until recently put together a policy document on art and culture capturing major issues affecting the people of Papua New Guinea in the arts and culture sector,” the Minister said.

He added that the support for the local artists by the National Cultural Commission is one of the many dictates of the first-ever National Cultural Policy 2022 – 2032 of the country that was developed by the Kilanda administration of the National Cultural Commission.

Executive Director of National Cultural Commission Steven Enomb Kilanda, who accompanied the Minister, added that the Cairns exhibition was first of many international fixtures the Commission would hosting in Australia, Europe and other parts of the world to ensure local Papua New Guinean artists get maximum exposure and benefit.

He said similar international contemporary art exhibitions will be staged in Australia as lead up shows towards a big one to be held in Canberra to coincide with Papua New Guinea’s 50th independence anniversary in 2025.  Mr. Kilanda said that provincial and regional exhibitions would also be organized to expose and promote artists from other parts of the country.

The Cairns exhibition was made possible through a collaborative and partnership arrangement with Paradise Palette with the support of the Australia High Commission. This collaboration is captured in a Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2022 by NCC and Paradise Palette and witnessed by the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.

NCC’s sister agencies, Tourism Promotion Authority and National Museum and Art Gallery were equally instrumental in supporting NCC’s efforts towards hosting the exhibition in Australia.

National Cultural Commission so far hosted the first and second national contemporary arts exhibition in Port Moresby last year and this is a milestone achievement bringing Papua New Guinea contemporary arts and artists overseas.

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