Mathias Kauage

Country/Region: Papua New Guinea

Village: Miugu Village, Simbu Province

Mathias Kauage is PNG's best known artist. In 1998, he was honoured with an O.B.E. by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to contemporary Papua New Guinean art. A painting he presented to the Queen now hangs in Buckingham Palace. Born in Miugu Village in the highlands of Simbu Province, Kauage migrated to Port Moresby in 1968 and found work as a maintenance worker. He probably would have remained in that position had he not happened to attend the opening of Timothy Akis's first exhibition at the University. Kauage was so impressed that he approached Australian artist Georgina Beier with a few simple drawings and told her he wanted to become an artist. Although she was uncertain about his talents, Beier nevertheless was impressed by his perseverance and encouraged him to keep working until his lively witty style developed its full exuberance.

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