Michael Adonai – Biography

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Michael Adonai

Michael Adonai

With over thirty (30) years experience of work in painting and writing, Michael Adonai is one of the most celebrated contemporary Eritrean artists/painters art instructors and writers who is bringing forth a new cultural renaissance by blending his self-taught and classical artistic training in visual arts and painting with pure authenticity and energy combined and infused into his paintings.

Michael began to develop a very unique, richer, more personal, more dramatic, and more symbolic art style in the 1980’s. The power of his traditional “Coptic Art” allegorical expressionism increased through the war years, reflecting his experience as a freedom fighter depicting the plights, hopes, aspirations and fortitude of the Eritrean people during difficult times.

His fine brush strokes, painterly styles, aesthetic taste and colour palettes are his subject’s emotional voice and mirror. They are extensive, bold, passionate, spiritual, cultural, responsive, spontaneous, sensitive, heartfelt and at times haunting or humorous.

Having successfully exhibited his Master Works in the UK, USA, Japan, Johannesburg, Dubai, Sweden, Eritrea, Singapore, Sudan, Kuwait, Ethiopia, Italy and Australia, Michael is now passing on his vast artistic skills and experiences to a new generation of Australian artists by teaching fine art. He is as well diligently working on his upcoming solo and group exhibition projects.

Michael continues to spend his time writing, reading, researching, and seeking inspiration for his next series of paintings that embrace varied and diverse subjects, he clairvoyantly narrates and documents life’s effects on human condition.

Michael’s art works have always been appreciated for their elegant combination of ideas and colour-harmony by exhibitors, collectors and the general public.

Michael has won awards and prizes including the “Raimok award” one of the highest national prizes given to an artist. He was also nominated by an international art’s jury to represent Eritrea in the United Nations sponsored Global Art Exhibition, 2001. In addition, he was the participant of the 3rd International Arts Camp – ANDORRA. Michael is the recipient of the African Australian Excellence of the year Award – 2014.

Michael was selected to be featured in the Dictionary of African Biography, 2012.

[DAB]: is “a major biographical dictionary covering the lives and legacies of notable African men and women from all walks of life (Published by OXFORD press in, 2012.

EXHIBITIONS: 1982 – Present


  • AUSTRALIA – Group exhibition:

                     – Wyndham Cultural Centre, Werribee, VIC, 2014

                     – Louie Joel Arts Gallery, Altona, VIC, 2013        

                     – Solo exhibition: Louis Joel Arts gallery, Altona, Vic, 2014                    

  • SWEDEN – Group exhibition – Festival Eritrea in Stockholm, 2007
  • JAPAN – Solo exhibition – Nature’s Wisdom, 2005
  • JOHANNESBURG – Solo exhibition – Earth Summit, 2002
  • ABU DHABI – Group exhibition, sponsored by Cultural Foundation – Abu Dhabi, 2002
  • ERITREA – Solo and group exhibition, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2004
  • KUWAIT – Group exhibition, 2000
  • DUBAI (Caricature: “ An Art for all people”), Group Exhibition, 2000
  • ITALY – Group exhibition organized by the EPLF, 1998
    • UK (Artist of Africa, Poster exhibition), organized by the British Council, 1996
    • SINGAPORE – Group exhibition sponsored by National Arts Council of Singapore, 1996
    • ETHIOPIA – Solo exhibition at the National Museum of Ethiopia, 1993
    • USA and several European countries – Group exhibition 1989, 1990,1991 organized by the EPLF
    • SUDAN – Group exhibition organized by the EPLF, 1987


    [Won six major national competitions including the prestigious Raimok award].

    • Recipient of the African Australian Excellence of the year Award, 2014
    • Selected to be featured in Dictionary of African Biography, OXFORD press, 2012
    • Participant of the 3rd International Arts Camp – ANDORRA, 2012
    • Raimok (The highest National prize given to an artist), 2002
    • Nominated to represent Eritrea at the “Global Art” organized by the UN, 2001
    • First prize ERITREA, 1993
    • Second prize ERITREA, 1987
    • First prize ERITREA, 1986
    • First prize ERITREA, 1985


    • The University of Victoria
    • Multicultural Arts Victoria
    • Arts Centre Melbourne
    • Boite World Music
    • Footscray Arts Centre
    • Wyndham Arts Alliance
    • Wyndham Cultural Centre
    • Louie Joel Arts Gallery
    • National Museum of Eritrea
    • National Arts Council of Singapore
    • British Council
    • Cultural Foundation of Abu Dhabi


    • Hanetay’s Destiny Collection of play, 2012
    • The verdict of mount Arey Novel, 2012
    • Windows of Mai Mne Novel, 1998
    • Red Mosob Novel, 1998



    • National Museum of Eritrea
    • Seaphire International USA
    • National Confederation of Eritrean Workers
    • Hotel Intercontinental Asmara
    • Red Sea Trading Corporation
    • National Confederation of Eritrean Workers
    • Denden Club, Asmara
    • Hager Media Hall
    • Asmara Municipality Hall
    • Other private owners in Eritrea, Germany, UK, Italy, USA, Norway, Sweden and Australia etc.
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