Goma – ‘Kioku – Flashback Memories’


In his youth, the Tokyo born Goma traveled to the Northern Territory in order to study the didgeridoo under master Djalu Gurruwiwii. During his stay, Goma lived with the Yolngu people and was adopted into the Galpu clan. Under the tutelage of Djalu, Goma became the first non-indigenous person to win the Northern Land Council prize at the Barunga didgeridoo competition.

Upon returning to Tokyo, Goma founded the Jungle Rhythm Section, a highly respected musical outfit which blends Jungle and World Music with Goma’s contemporary interpretation of the didgeridoo.


In 2009, Goma was involved in a near-fatal car accident resulting in traumatic cerebral damage and a long recovery process. Suffering from anterior grade amnesia, Goma struggled to form new memories. Two days after coming out of his coma, Goma felt the compulsion to paint. Picking up his daughter’s paint set, Goma started work on a series of striking dot paintings. Since 2010, the collection of work has grown in size and complexity, as Goma attempts to commit his life to paper while undergoing rehabilitation.

Goma’s artwork bears a strong resemblance to indigenous dot paintings, but is infused with classic Japanese aesthetics and landscapes. Goma’s intention is not to appropriate indigenous art. Instead, as with the didgeridoo, Goma is attempting to embrace it as a source of inspiration and strength while creating a cultural bridge.


In 2013, director Tetsuaki Matsue released ‘Flashback Memories,’ an award winning documentary on Goma’s life, music and art. The success of the documentary resulted in international recognition of Goma’s remarkable story.

On the 5th of February 2016, Backwoods Gallery will be presenting KIOKU – flashback memories, an exhibition of key work from Goma’s personal collection, alongside a diary of his life since his accident.