Sand painting reflects significant PNG culture

National, Normal


SAND painting is a unique work of art which is mostly done in earthy colours of black, white and ochre (yellow/orange) sand.
For self-taught Engan artist Samuel Siki, sand painting is fast becoming his specialty in the art scene.
He paints portraits of prominent people and significant cultural aspects of PNG.
Three years ago, Mr Siki used to be just another artist using oil and other acrylic paints at the Enga Cultural Centre.
But he realised that with so many similar artists, competition was going to be tough.
And in order to survive, Mr Siki shifted into sand painting to do something that was different and hoped to break into the art scene in a big way.
For his paintings, he travels throughout Enga province looking for the right kind of earthy coloured black sand from Porgera, white from Wara Kup and the yellow/orange sand from the Kompiam district.
But most times, he crushes rocks to get the desired texture of sand.
He said because this was a costly exercise, he had to sell his paintings from K1,000 and more depending on the size of the frame and the subject of the project.
Last Friday, Mr Siki brought some of his work to The National’s office to show off his works on Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, Dame Carol Kidu, the late Princess Diana and former US president Abraham Lincoln.
He said he tried to promote PNG culture by using the natural colours of the sand and to be truly PNG-made.