Biting the Doctor's Arm by Mathias Kauage

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.


Acrylic on canvas
125 x 175 cm
Art Fund grant:
£9,000 ( Total: £25,000)
Acquired in:
Rebecca Hossack Gallery

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.


Rebecca Hossack Gallery.

Venue details

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Downing Street, Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB2 3DZ 01223 333516

Entry details

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