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Self Portrait as King Abdullah, 2009

by Abdul Abdullah

Self Portrait as King Abdullah, 2009

I am a seventh-generation Australian with a direct paternal link to a convict who arrived in this country in 1815. My name is Abdul Abdullah and I am a Muslim. While my father's side of the family has been here for generations, my mother is Malay and as a result I do not look like a typical Aussie. I have trouble identifying with this nationalist marker and prefer to see myself as ethnically ambiguous with no inherent political or cultural standards to adhere to. I am an alien living in a colonial outpost and my struggle for definition seems quite apart from that of my neighbours. The title, Self portrait as King Abdullah of the Greater Asia Co-prosperity Sphere, is a bastardisation of a term that describes Japan's World War II-era ambitions for a new East Asian geo-political order which, however brutal in reality, appeals to my intellectual sensibilities. 'Co-prosperity Sphere' – it sounds nice, doesn't it?

NYSPP 2010

National Youth Self Portrait Prize

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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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