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Exploring the links between Nyoongar and Chinese culture

Friday, 29 June 2012

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A new art exhibition at ECU is celebrating the link between Chinese and Australian Indigenous culture on the eve of NAIDOC Week celebrations.

2012 marks the 40th Anniversary of Australia-China Diplomatic Relations and the Year of the Dragon.

The Celebration of Indigenous Art and Culture Exhibition launched a one-of-a-kind piece depicting mythological creatures, the Nyoongar Wagyl (snake) and the Chinese Long (dragon), celebrating this unique anniversary and ECU’s long standing relationship with China.

The Dragon is a legendary creature, representing a symbol of power, strength and good luck. It is believed to be the ruler of moving bodies of water, such as waterfalls, rivers and seas.

The Wagyl (also known as the Rainbow Serpent) is a snake-like dreamtime creature responsible for the creation and protection of the Swan and Canning rivers and other waterways around Perth and the south west region.

The unique collaborative artwork, from Nyoongar artist Sandra Hill and Chinese artist Gao Xu Yong, depicts the creature’s similarities and their importance in defining culture.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Indigenous) Professor Colleen Hayward AM said the exhibition is important in highlighting the collaborative relationship between the two cultures.

“This new exhibition celebrates the unique cultural elements that define both countries, celebrating the cultural similarities and highlighting some of the unique differences,” Professor Hayward said.

“The exhibition also plays an important role in celebrating and recognising our own Nyoongar culture on the eve of national NAIDOC Week.”

The Celebration of Indigenous Art and Culture also showcases a number of pieces by Nyoongar artists from ECU’s Indigenous art collection. The exhibition will be open to the public from Monday, 2 July to Friday, 6 July from 9.00am to 4.00pm.

For more information, and to view the full calendar of ECU NAIDOC Week events visit the Kurongkurl Katitjin website.

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