Kauage was one of the founding figures of modern art in the Pacific, and remains to date the most internationally-celebrated Papua New Guinean artist to have worked in modern media.

The painting depicts the artist’s own resistance to an injection while at primary school. In one sense the experience is universal, in another what is depicted is the encounter between Australian medical staff and a group of Melanesian children of the first and last generation of Highlanders subject to a brief period of colonial administration. Kauage did not see his work as a vehicle for the representation of customary culture - but more interestingly envisaged diverse events from a Highlands aesthetic perspective.

Provenance

Rebecca Hossack Gallery.


Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

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