Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Aboriginal Corporation » Yolngu Art, Craft and Culture from Gapuwiyak, East Arnhemland

Gapuwiyak Calling exhibition


American Museum of Natural History will be hosting Gapuwiyak Calling exhibition between
Thursday, October 23 to Sunday, October 26 2014

Curated by Miyarrka Media, this multi-media installation witnesses the dawn of a new era in Australian Indigenous art and the use of digital technologies to express ancient Yolngu poetics of call-and-response.

In ancestral times the mokuy (a trickster spirit) signals other clans with a dhadalal (a special didgeridoo), in order to engage with the people and places across the region, establishing enduring and ritually significant relationships. The sound of the dhadalal thus became a method to gather clans for large public ceremonies. Gapuwiyak Calling endeavours to connect with those far beyond the Arnhem Land.

“We decided to name our exhibition Gapuwiyak Calling because
we’re calling you through our phones, calling so you can connect to us.
We’re grabbing hold of new possibilities using these little things.
Maybe you’ll answer us?”

- Paul Gurrumuruwu

The installations depict phone-made content from flashing GIF files of family photographs collages which piece together and reconnect the living and dead.

Other elements of the work include biyarrmak (funny) videos clips of mainstream television and movies that are re-voiced in Yolngu languages with Yolngu jokes, and a short film about the stories and emotions that determine people’s choice of ringtone. Although much of the content is delivered in a humorous and playful theme, the Yolngu curators view the art as a documentation of generations of Yolngu kin living through times of enormous social change and stress.

For more details of the exhibition please visit:

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