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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Abdul Abdullah
Abdul Abdullah in his studio with large windows overlooking a suburban street
Watched but not seen + Surveilled, 2022 Abdul Abdullah
1 Abdul Abdullah in his studio, 2022 Mark Mohell. Photographed on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. 2 Watched but not seen + Surveilled, 2022 Abdul Abdullah. Made on the land of the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, Sydney and Yogyakarta, Indonesia Made with the assistance of DGTMB Studios, Yogyakarta Courtesy of the artist.

Abdul Abdullah is a multi-disciplinary artist and five-time Archibald finalist with a highly distinctive practice. A self-described ‘outsider amongst outsiders’ with a post 9/11 mindset, his practice is primarily concerned with the experience of the ‘other’. Identifying as a Muslim and having both Malay/Indonesian and convict/settler Australian heritage, Abdul occupies a precarious space in the political discourse. Abdul has been exhibiting since 2008 in major solo and group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. His work is held in numerous collections including the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Australia and Artbank, Sydney.

Through two visions of the weretiger, Abdul’s tapestries Watched but not seen and Surveilled are concerned with the experience of the ‘other’, and the difference between the perception of a person’s identity and the reality of their lived actions and beliefs.

Note: Parts of the biography have been drawn from absabdulabdullah.com with permission.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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