Explorer Major Thomas Mitchell reported in 1835, vast tracts of native Millet and Munyeroo harvested by Aboriginal people along the Darling River. Some archaeological sites contain grindstones dated to about 30,000 years, which are considered to be one of the earliest examples of bread-making in the world.

Yutaka Kobayashi worked with local schools to grow native plants for obtaining flour and made solar cookers allowing them to use the abundant natural resource of this region for baking. The project introduces traditional cultural practices by the original people of this region and considers the effects of present day farming and living practices on our environment and health.

Yutaka Kobayashi, The World’s First Baker,  2014-2015, Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area / Mungo National Park, Collaboration with Mungo Youth Project, local schools & students. Solar Ovens installed at Mungo National Park, baking bread made from Native Millet. Cardboard, silver foil, glass, timber, native plants and mixed media. Dimensions variable. Photo: Fleur Ruddick

Yutaka Kobayashi, work in progress digital drawing for Mildura Palimpsest Biennale #10, 2014.

Yutaka Kobayashi, The World’s First Baker,  2014-2015, Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area / Mungo National Park, Collaboration with Mungo Youth Project, local schools & students. Solar Ovens installed at Mungo National Park, baking bread made from Native Millet. Cardboard, silver foil, glass, timber, native plants and mixed media. Dimensions variable. Photo: Fleur Ruddick

Yutaka Kobayashi, The World’s First Baker,  2014-2015, Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area / Mungo National Park, Collaboration with Mungo Youth Project, local schools & students. Solar Ovens installed at Mungo National Park, baking bread made from Native Millet. Cardboard, silver foil, glass, timber, native plants and mixed media. Dimensions variable. Photo: Danielle Hanifin

Yutaka Kobayashi was born in Tokyo and is presently based in Australia as a visiting professor from the University of Ryukyus, Okinawa, through a partnership with La Trobe Art Institute and Mildura Palimpsest. Since receiving his Master of Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, New York in 1991. Kobayashi has shown in numerous exhibitions internationally. His ecologically concerned site-specific installations often involve collaborations with schools and community. Such complex projects have been undertaken by Kobayashi throughout the world. His works are shaped both by the physicality of the landscapes he inhabits and the communities he works in.

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