Ochre and Ink


Ochre and Ink tells the extraordinary story of artist Zhou Xiaoping and his inspiring 23 year collaboration with Aboriginal artists in outback Australia.

Trained as a traditional Chinese brush painter in Anhui Province, Xiaoping arrived in Australia in 1988 knowing almost nothing about the country. On a whim, he traveled to the heart of the outback, where he was surprised to see Aboriginal people for the first time. He became fascinated by their art and culture, and they welcomed him into their communities where the artists showed him their techniques of painting with ochre on bark.

Now Xiaoping is visiting the famous artist Johnny Bulunbulun and his family, working on paintings for a major exhibition to be held in Beijing, on the theme of the 300 year trade in Trepang (sea cucumber) from the Aboriginal people of northern Australia via Macassan traders to China.

Johnny is keen to travel to China for the exhibition; but tragically, he dies before he can make the journey. Instead, Johnny’s wife and son attend the exhibition opening at the imposing Capital Museum in Beijing and perform an emotional ceremony in his honour.

Later Xiaoping shows his Aboriginal friends some of the fascinating sights of Beijing.


Release dates
2011 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
16 February 2012
Winner Special Jury Prize, 2012 FIFO (Pacific International Documentary Film Festival), Tahiti
G - general
Ronin Films
Caitlin Yeo


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Korff, J 2018, Ochre and Ink, <>, retrieved 30 May 2024

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