Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR092909- BALGO - Exploring Australia’s Indigenous heritage through art


Experience Australia’s colourful, vibrant and ancient Aboriginal cultural heritage by visiting the Australian Embassy’s ‘Balgo: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills’ exhibition at the Yuchengco Museum from 2 to 22 October.

The exhibition will feature 26 Indigenous paintings and etchings of 18 internationally renowned and emerging Kukatja language-speaking artists from the Warlayirti Artists Art Centre in the Balgo Hills region of Western Australia. The artists include Boxer Milner, Helicopter Tjungarrayi, Eubena Nampitjin and Elizabeth Nyumi who are highly respected within the international arts community.

Australian Ambassador Rod Smith said the Balgo Hills (or Wirrimanu), which is located on the northern edge of the Tanami and Great Sandy Deserts, is considered one of Australia’s most important indigenous art centres.

“The Balgo exhibit offers a riot of colour and energy while exploring the stories, lives and history of the Balgo artists,” Ambassador Smith said.

“The exhibition reflects the strong connection the Aboriginal people have with the land and their traditions – a connection which is more than 40,000 years old. Balgo provides an opportunity for Filipinos to learn more about Australia’s Aboriginal heritage and further their understanding of the vital role it plays in Australia’s national identity.”

The Balgo collection presents stories and ceremonies of the mythic Tjujurrpa, or Dreaming, painted in a way that blends the ancient with the contemporary, the abstract representations of landscape and spiritual themes with political ones.

The Dreaming or Dreamtime for Australian Indigenous people is when the ancestral beings moved across the land and created life and significant geographic features. These beliefs have governed every aspect of Indigenous peoples’ lives and relationships with the land. They are the subject of traditional stories, music and artwork across Australia.

‘Balgo: Contemporary Australian Art from the Balgo Hills’ coincides with the Philippines’ celebration of Indigenous People’s Month. The exhibit will show from 2 to 22 October at the third level of the Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza, Ayala and Gil Puyat Avenues, Makati City. It will be open Monday to Saturday from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Artbank of Australia.

For further information about the exhibit including photos of some of the artworks, visit the Australian Embassy website at