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Kei Kalak has a bold, distinguishable style, featuring fine threadlike lines. He retells the myths and legendary stories he inherited from older family members.
Kalak says he has been elected as Yam Island’s ‘official’ storyteller and his mission is to keep alive the sacred stories of the four brothers who travelled from the north before memory, and settled Zenadh Kes, or what most Australians know as the Central and Eastern Torres Strait Islands.
These four brothers were: Malu, who became god of Mer Island, Sigai, brother of Maiu, teacher of war, Mamoose of Yam Islan; Kulka, third brother, teacher of hunting, Mamoose of Ourete Island (Skull Island) and younger brother Siue, teacher of dance, Mamoose of York Island.
Art and law are combined heroically in what can only be described as an ‘epic’ style. The figures are woven into rhythmic patterns (minaral), some of which are his own beguiling invention.
Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns QLD
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT
National Museum of Australia, Canberra ACT
2011 I am Kulkalgal, Umi Arts, Cairns
2011 Ngai Lamalaig – Me a Yam Islander, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
1999 Exhibition with Nino Sabatino at Banggu Minjaany Art Gallery, TNQ TAFE, Cairns
2010 Three Emerging Zenadh Kes Printmakers, Jeffrey Moose Gallery, Seattle USA
2010 One Family Our Way of Life, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2010 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, New Caledonia
2011 Pathways, Umi Arts, Cairns
2011 Storyboat, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
2011 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
2011 CIAF Exhibition, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
2011 Land, Sea and Sky: Contemporary Art of the Torres Strait Islands, Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
2011 Malu Minar (Sea Pattern) Art of the Torres Strait, Southland Museum and Gallery, Invercargill NZ
2011 Inkmasters Inaugural Members Exhibition, Cairns
2012 Big Wet, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2012 Sense of Place, Inkmasters Exhibition, Canopy Artspace, 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
1991-94 Wongetti High School ‘Best Achievement Student Art Award’
2008 TNQ TAFE mural commission, Pre-school Child Care Centre
2004 Yam Island Council mural commission, community centre – ‘Kabusu’
2003 Queensland Health Commission mural for Health Clinic
2003 Yam Island Council Community Store mural
2010 Window decal project, Woodridge Medical Centre, Brisbane
2012 Choice Australia, wall and floor murals for The Culture Place Gallery/Restaurant, Cairns
2012 SBS Naidoc Week featuring Tagai-Star Constellation print
Gatherings I, 2002, Gatherings II, 2006 Published by Arts Queensland / Keeaira Press , Brisbane