by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
The art of painting in Papua New Guinea is very unique yet very challenging for those who love and have a passion in painting.
With few professionally exposed to the art of painting and a few emerging artists, painting as an art has been a real challenge for those engaged in practicing it.
During the launching of the ‘Friends of the Museum’ initiative by the National Museum, Art and Gallery, two talented creative artists proudly demonstrated their talent to the crowd who gathered to witnessed the official launching of initiative.
They are Albert Joseph and Laben Sakale John. Albert is from Kagamuga village in Moun Hagen, Western Province and Laben is from Menyama district in the Morobe Province.
Both artists have different stories as to why they have engaged themselves into the art of painting.
For Albert, painting was something he loved to do therefore before pursing his studies, he began painting. After ten years of self training, in 2012, he graduated at the University of Goroka with a Diploma in Creative Industries and finally in 2016, completed his studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Papua New Guinea.
Laben on the other hand, was also very passionate about painting. He also graduated at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1997 and since then, has expanded his knowledge in painting and painted full time.
Despite their love for painting as a career and as a passion, one of the common challenges they encounter is the market for selling their art work.
According to Laben, proper market for selling their art work is a real struggle for him and the other artists in Papua New Guinea. He further added that this has limited his ability to market his art work on a regular basis.
Both artists have their art works sold not only here in Papua New Guinea but other countries as well. According to Albert, individuals from other countries including England, Africa and Australia have bought his art work.
For Laben, some of his art work is found in Denver Art Museum and Hood Museum in America and Australian National Museum.
Painting has become their everyday work and is an important part of their life. Laben when asked said painting is his life and that he is proud he is living his life this way.
Both Albert and Laben are proud of their art work and work each day on their individual pieces for merchandising, leasing, commissioning, hiring, exhibitions, selling and other general graphic design purpose.