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A breath from Switzerland, Australia

Bérangre Primat 20 years ago was the expression of a spiritual and meaningful art form.

The solo collector, the passionate collector, the follower of trends, the one who listens only to the “gallery gurus” … but rarely those who are fully spiritual in their works and give a dimension to their collections beyond the simple scene.

Practical information

“Breath of Life – Life is just a breath”, until April 17, 2022, at the Opel Foundation in Lens (Switzerland).

This expression of a very spiritual and meaningful art form, Perangare Primat had it when he entered a tribal art gallery in Paris 20 years ago. He has been collecting this ancestral art ever since and has the largest collection of private tribal arts in Europe.

A system in the heart of the Alps

Follow the shores of Lake Geneva, then sink into the Rன்n Valley towards the Sier, and take the winding road through the vineyards of Valாய்s to Grans-Montana, then come to Lens-en-Valio in front of a single architecture made of glass and solar panels. The majestic mountains reflect 360, which is akin to climbing a kind of spirituality. The discovery that the Opel Foundation has been building a nest since 2018 (named after a mythical stone in tribal culture) is clear.

Various Itachi, left to right: Balku Vunumurra (1960), Milminina Tamarantzi (1960), Itachi / Digjeridu / Digjeridu, 2014 (detail) Natural pigments on wood (Christian Som collection)

“The Opel Foundation wants that Promoting dialogue between tribal art and contemporary art, A place for exhibitions, meetings and reference research “, explains Perangare Primat, Chairman of the Foundation.

“The Opel Foundation seeks to promote dialogue between tribal art and contemporary art.”

Perangare Primate

Chairman of the Opel Foundation

Since the closure of the Aboriginal Museum in Utrecht, the Opel Foundation has been promoting contemporary aboriginal art, one of the rarest museums in Europe, in addition to ethnographic museums.

“It is imperative for me to share these works with the public,” says Perangare Primate. “I spent a lot of time in the central desert in Australia: the land of Ahrem. It was a very intense experience. There, every time I was able to access a spiritual dimension, in which I was privileged to take part, a little deeper thanks to the various festivals. Each time I was given an extra key, filled with meaning, it would open me up to another knowledge. I felt there was something that unites us all as human beings; This universal memory in which humanity can find everything. These men have been around since the beginning of time; They have a lot to teach us. “

“But I do not want to stay in Australia because I know I’ll benefit here by providing a safe place for all these artists to come and attend and talk about their art.” For this project Perangare Primat surrounded himself with Belgian Georges Bettigian, Curator and curator, but also the director of the trust, autor siarini.

Dijeridu, more than a tool

With this beautiful title, “The Breath of Life, Life Is Only a Breath,” the Opel Foundation presents its third exhibition; This is in line with Australia’s iconic instrument, the Dodgeridu. Despite its popularity, most of us ignore its appearance and power. This tool, called Yidaki, was invested by the people who came with it – Dijeridu was only a late Onomatopoeia – with the power of the ancestors in the origin of the creation of the universe. With percussion sticks, they come with ritual songs and dances. For starters, its sound vibration has a healing power that transcends space and time. More than a tool, Yitaki is an important part of everyday life. It is known by different names according to the regions, the clans that give it its unique decorative tools and its characteristics.

B. Malaluba Kumana (v. 1954-2020), Largitz – Karimala / Funeral Jaikun – Snake Lime in Karimala, 2017 Natural pigments in wood.
© Vincent Grier dufornier

We are greeted by a large, powerful photo of the famous Dijeridu player Jalu Kuruvi. Waiting to dive into a set of 70 tools, which was completed by video conferencing. The observer will first discover the sound, vibration and visual ability of the instrument. He is well versed in the production, typography and some of the uniqueness of this 1500 year old tool. Here, the art collective: a whole family, depending on its origin, works on the creation of the instrument, the decoration and the reading.

Spiritual refreshment

Loyal to its work in promoting contemporary aboriginal art, the second part of this exhibition is undoubtedly the most amazing, witnessing the life-expression of the knowledge of the tribal people through installations incorporating sculptures, paintings and video mapping.

Artist’s first installation Malaloopa Kumana Rainbow focuses on the snake. The beautiful work of organic forms in funeral rites enlivens its mapping surface with water effects.

In the next room, குணிபி கணம்பர் Creates real paintings on aluminum panels, which are commonly used for building insulation. He catches them by cutting them, scratching them to create graphic surfaces – everything – with hidden meanings.

The second installation, in more depth, represents life sculptures Mogui spirits Communicating with the deceased. Spirits come alive and dance through a monumental video mapping installation Mulka project, A consortium of artists and multimedia experts.

This insight into contemporary Australian art should inspire these artists to pay close attention: the spiritual refreshment we need in our European approach to art.


  • Through “Breath of Life, Breath of Life”, the Opel Foundation presents its third exhibition.
  • L Expo Joins Australia’s iconic instrument Dodgeridu.
  • “The Opel Foundation wants that Promoting dialogue between tribal art and contemporary art“, Says its president.
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