© Cleared / image missing

Gickmai KUNDUN

Papua New Guinea

Wantoks [my friends] 1995 Description: gourd shaped pot without bottom base and protruding lip with a family of figure attached to front of pot.
Place made: Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea Melanesia
Materials & Technique: ceramics, hand built, semiglaze, hard modelling. coil

Primary Insc: JGK95 on rim of base.
Dimensions: 28.0 h x 30.0 w x 31.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1996
Accession No: NGA 96.875

Wantok literally means ‘one-talk’ - people from the same tribal community - an individual is expected to selflessly help his wantoks when they are in times of need.

The family rendered in high relief to this gourd-shaped vase all wear quizzical almost apprehensive expressions, the children cower behind their parents, and perhaps they desperately require the aid of their wantoks?
Kundun is renowned as a metal sculptor yet this work shows he is confident working with other mediums.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra