Being Eurasian brings together two artists at different stages of their career whose work deals with similar issues of identity, history and ancestry. Abdullah – a highly lauded emerging WA artist who has twice been a finalist in the Archibald Prize – has created paintings that explore the ways in which people of mixed Asian and European ancestry culturally define themselves.
Dr Leslie Morgan – an artist and academic dealing with race, diaspora, migration and whiteness – has created paintings that depict the entry of Anglo-Indians into Australia in 1947 at a time of the White Australia Policy.
The paintings deal with the docking of the HMAS Manoora in Fremantle in 1947. The ship was dispatched by the Australian Government to rescue British citizens from India prior to its independence and partition, and on its return it held seven hundred Anglo-Indians and twenty Polish refugees. Immigration officials were unsure if the Anglo-Indians could be allowed entry given the White Australia policy and in order to save face the Minister allowed them entry.
Abdul Abdullah is represented by Fehily Contemporary in Melbourne.