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Exploring the links between Nyoongar and Chinese culture

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


A new art exhibition at Edith Cowan University (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 will launch a one-of-a-kind piece depicting mythological creatures, the Nyoongar Wagyl (snake) and the Chinese Long (dragon) to celebrate 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 will also showcase a number of pieces by Nyoongar artists from ECU’s Indigenous art collection.

Celebration of Indigenous Art and Culture

Date: Friday, 29 June 2012
6.30pm to 8.30pm
ECU Joondalup Art Gallery, Building

For more information, and to view the full calendar of ECU NAIDOC Week events visit:

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Media contact:

Corporate Communications
(08) 6304 2131
0402 016 344
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