Dr Christian Thompson AO (b. 1978, Australia) is a Bidjara man of the Kunja Nation from central western Queensland with Chinese-Australian, Anglo-Celtic, Norwegian and Sephardic Jewish heritage. His practice spans across video, photography, sculpture, performance and sound, evolving through a process of auto – ethnography. While employing various modes of research, he connects his own experience to larger social, political, cultural meanings and understandings. Thompson grew up in rural and urban environments in the 1980s and 90s and he interweaves references to his Bidjara culture throughout his multidisciplinary practice to address issues of colonialism, identity and cultural representation. His doctoral research and art practice has had a critical impact on International and Australian art. In 2018 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished services to the visual arts and as a role model to young indigenous artists in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.
Thompson has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. His solo exhibitions include Bayi Gardiya, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne; and We Bury Our Own, The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK. His work has been included in prestigious group exhibitions including 11th Shanghai Biennale: Why Not Ask Again, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China; APT8: The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia; The Other and Me, The Sharjah Museum, United Arab Emirates; Australia, The Royal Academy for the Arts, London, UK; Undisclosed 2nd National Indigenous Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Shadowlife, Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, Thailand; SOLO, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK; Tell Me Tell Me: Australian and Korean Art 1976-2011, National Museum of Korean Art, Seoul, South Korea, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; and The Beauty of Distance/ Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age: 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia. From 2017 to 2019, a major survey exhibition of Thompson’s work curated by Charlotte Day and Hetti Perkins, Christian Thompson: Ritual Intimacy, toured across Australia. Thompson is a research affiliate at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, UK.