We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Wikauma kople (Mountain Wikauma), from the series Karem kai kai



Eric Bridgeman


1986 –

Bata Philip Kaupa

Papua New Guinea

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Kudjip Anglimp-South Waghi District Jiwaka Province Papua New Guinea
    Cultural origin
    Yuri Alaiku Omdara clan, South Simbu Province
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil pastel on cotton rag paper
    125.0 x 60.0 cm sheet
    Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2019
    Naala Nura, lower level 1, 20th-century galleries
    Accession number
    © the artists

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Haus Yuriyal (Men of the Yuri)

    Works in the collection


    Artist information
    Eric Bridgeman

    Works in the collection


    Artist information
    Bata Philip Kaupa

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Early in 2019, Australian-born Eric Bridgeman travelled to the highlands of Papua New Guinea, where he worked on the 'kuman' painting project with his Simbu cousins and uncles from the Yuri Alaiku Omdara clan. As the grandson of revered marksman and village big man – the late Muka Geulua – Bridgeman led the group in sharing cultural knowledge about 'kuman', or fighting shields, which have been crafted for generations.

    The series title 'Karem kai kai' – whose basic translation is 'to hold or carry food' – translates more broadly as 'Cargo that holds great value, importance, cultural and/or political weight', as related by the artist. Bridgeman has noted that when seen as a group, the drawings convey 'protection and danger; tribal warfare and brotherly love; sorcery and healing; and the living, the dying, and the dead'.

    Drawn over a period of two months in early 2019, 'Karem kai kai' was produced by six members of Haus Yuriyal: Moses Mote Kirua, Paul Nulai, Munum Tolpari, Mori Kaupa, Bata Philip Kaupa and Yuriyal 'EB' (Eric Bridgeman). The vibrant forms seen in the 26 oil pastel drawings reimagine traditional Simbu shield designs, and reference the groups’ enthusiasm for sport, popular culture and politics, as well as inherent spiritual beliefs.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Haus Yuriyal (Men of the Yuri)

See all 26 works

Other works by Eric Bridgeman

See all 28 works

Other works by Bata Philip Kaupa