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Torres Strait Island artist David Bosun is from the tribe of Wug on Moa Island and grew up in a very sensitive cultural environment. From the age of four he practiced traditional dancing and singing. He first became interested in art in grade six after participating in an art class at school.
David first attended school at Thursday Island Secondary school and later moved to All Saints and St Gabriel’s Anglican college in Queensland. During High School he was always in trouble for drawing in class instead of doing his work. Dennis Nona, another Torres Strait artist, was one of his classmates and was in the same year eight class at Thursday Island. Their competitions to see who could do the best drawing during classes resulted in a lot of detentions.
From 1993 to 1995 David studied for an Associate Diploma in Communications at James Cook University. Although he never stopped drawing, he was never serious about it as his studies took up most of his time. The Cultural studies component of his course inspired him to take up art again.
In 1996 he did a Visual Arts course at the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE. In 1997 when David returned to Moa Island he met up with his childhood friend Dennis Nona and realised that the career he had been looking for was in fact what had always got him into trouble at school.
David believes that both the future generations in the Torres Strait as well as the rest of the world need to be educated about the rich cultural heritage and distinctiveness of Torres Strait culture. He is striving to record and illustrate his ancestral beliefs and traditions through the visual and performing arts.
David has also been a member of the Royal Australian Army Reserve; he is a Councillor and Project Officer with Kubin Community Council and a founding member of the Mualgau Minneral Art group of Moa Island.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
Badu Island State Primary School, Badu
National Museum of Australia, Canberra
Cambridge University Museum, UK
Victoria & Albert Museum, UK
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Kluge-Ruhe Collection, University of Virginia, USA
2013 Ngau Gidthal (My Stories), Kluge-Ruhe Collection, University of Virginia, Charlottesville USA
1996 Expressing Our Traditions. Cairns Regional Gallery, Qld.
2001 Trackin Kultja, Australian National Museum, Canberra, ACT
2001 Thaigy Minaral – Beautiful Patterns, Port Kennedy Hall, Thursday Island, Qld.
2001 Gatherings, Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane, Qld.
2001 – 2004 Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Gelam My Son, Travelling Exhibition. Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW; Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria, BC, Canada; Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK; Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane, Qld; Damien Minton Gallery, Newcastle, NSW; Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra, ACT; Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Vic; New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW; Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree, NSW; Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery, Stanthorpe, Qld; Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide, SA; Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo Vic; Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura, Vic; Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, NSW; Manly Art Gallery, Manly, NSW; Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Toowoomba, Qld; Noosa Regional Art Gallery, Tewantin, Qld; Cairns Regional Art Gallery, Cairns, Qld.
2002 Paipa -‘Windward’. National Museum of Australia, Canberra ACT Zugu Bau Thi Thuil – Seven Stars, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne Vic.
2002 – 2005 Native Title Business, Travelling Exhibition
2010 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia
2011 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Southland Museum and Gallery, Invercargill NZ
2011 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
2012 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Pataka Museum and Gallery, Porirua City, NZ
2012 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatu Art Gallery Nelson, NZ
2013 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Te Manawa Art Gallery, Palmerston North, NZ
Gelam Nguzu Kazi – Gelam My Son, Australian and International Touring Exhibition catalogue.
Demozay M., 2001,Gatherings, Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art from Queensland Australia.
Native Title Business, Australian Touring Exhibition Catalogue.