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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Six Impressive Artworks to See at Brisbane's Ninth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

QAGOMA's huge new APT9 exhibition celebrates the creativity — and explores the issues — of Australia and the Asia Pacific.
By Sarah Ward
December 03, 2018
  shares

Six Impressive Artworks to See at Brisbane's Ninth Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

QAGOMA's huge new APT9 exhibition celebrates the creativity — and explores the issues — of Australia and the Asia Pacific.
By Sarah Ward
December 03, 2018
  shares

Every three years, the Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and Queensland Art Gallery take stock of their place in the world. From their riverside stretch of South Brisbane, the neighbouring art institutions are keenly aware of the importance of celebrating not only the city's creativity, but that of the country and the Asia-Pacific region as well. That's exactly what the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is all about, and has been since 1993. The huge multi-gallery exhibition highlights the wealth of artistic treasures crafted in our own backyard — from the skyscrapers to the suburbs, the outback to the ocean, and the heart of Australia to the sprawl of neighbouring Asian cities.

Marking its ninth event and running until April 28, 2019, the latest APT takes its task seriously. There's so much excellent art from the region to showcase, and so many talented artists as well. Indeed, the numbers paint one of the exhibition's biggest pictures, with the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art featuring more than 400 artworks by over 80 individuals, collectives and groups.

If you're wondering which of APT9's pictures, paintings, sculptures, videos, installations and more that you should see at the free exhibition, we've singled out six must-sees.

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Gary Carsley 'Purple Reign'. APT9 Kids. GOMA 1.4. Installation view.

'PURPLE REIGN' BY GARY CARSLEY

Ignore GOMA's Children's Art Centre at your peril. The home of Yayoi Kusama's Obliteration Room every time that it comes to town, it's a space where art and interactivity combine for big and little kids alike. For APT9, it's overflowing with something that (basically) everyone loves: jacarandas. Most of Brisbane has just been blossoming with the distinctive purple flowers, but here they're taking over the walls. This piece is called Purple Reign for a reason (and not just to make a great Prince pun). As inspired by R Godfrey Rivers's painting Under the jacaranda 1903, visitors play with touch screens and video to explore the gorgeous blooms, which brighten up nearly every surface in the room.

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ALBAIQUNI Zico. Indonesia, b. 1987. When it Shook - The Earth stood Still (After Pirous) 2018. Oil on canvas. 200 x 120 cm. Courtesy: The artist and Yavuz Gallery.

THE WORK OF ZICO ALBAIQUNI

In a huge exhibition designed to catch many an eye — both as a whole, and via its individual artworks — some of APT9's most vibrant pieces take art aficionados to Indonesia. More than that, they delve into the country's landscape and history — but not quite how you might expect. That's what artist Zico Albaiquni does, with exploring his country's traditions, its time under Dutch colonial rule and the state of the environment today all part of his practise. Working at the larger end of the scale, his paintings envelop viewers with their size, their scale and with their use of design, as well as with their almost forceful (and definitely attention-grabbing) use of colour.

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CAO Fei. Beijing, China b. 1978. Asia One 2018. HD video installation: 63:20 minutes, sound, colour, ed. 2/7 (edition TBC). Collection: Queensland Art Gallery.

'ASIA ONE' AND '11.11' BY CAO FEI

Every room holds a treasure at APT9, particularly the darkened corner of GOMA where Cao Fei's video works play on a loop. The Chinese artist is particularly interested in a topic that's beginning to monopolise cinematic pieces from the region: the changing way of life that's accompanying China's rapid modernisation. For both narrative effort Asia One and documentary 11.11, she steps inside the logistics hub of online retailer JD.com, exploring today's daily reality and pondering the intersection of humanity and technology in the future. And while the videos are worth watching alone, the exhibition's staging helps draw you in — you'll feel like you're in a warehouse rather than a gallery.

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"On the second day, Saturday, your three minutes..."Art Basel HK Encounter, 2017, performance/installation

'ON THE SECOND SATURDAY, YOUR THREE MINUTES' BY JOYCE HO

Need a rest, art lovers? Fancy sitting down and contemplating everything that you've seen? Thanks to Joyce Ho's addition to the exhibition, you'll find two lines of seats ready and waiting. This isn't about getting cosy, however, with the seats set up in separate spaces that resemble waiting rooms. There are no magazines or muted TVs here, but rather a mirrored window between the two chambers. Plonk yourself down on either side, and you'll spy both your reflection and the ghostly image of whoever happens to be sitting opposite, with the two combining in quite the striking and memorable fashion.

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Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, GOMA, The 9th Asia and Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9), Exhibition no. 2018.05.
Organisation Queensland Art Gallery, Start date 24 November 2018. End date 28 April 2019. Installation view.

'UNTITLED (GIRAN)' BY JONATHAN JONES

Nearly 2000 sculptures comprise Australian artist Jonathan Jones' piece, which spans across an entire wall. It's the kind of artwork that stuns from afar, making you step back to appreciate its full glory, while simultaneously inviting you closer to investigate its exceptional detail. Curved in appearance and with feathers featuring prominently, it's designed to resemble birds flying on the wind, although each individual element is actually one of six different types of tool. Made with family and Wiradjuri community members from raw materials, and crafted in collaboration with elder Dr Uncle Stan Grant Snr, it instantly conveys the movement and change that comes with the breeze — and turning an already evocative static piece into an immersive installation, it's also accompanied by sounds of the wind, bird calls, breathing and the Wiradjuri language.

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Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. QAG Watermall. The 9th Asia and Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9). Exhibition no. 2018.05. Organisation Queensland Art Gallery. Start date 24 November 2018. End date 28 April 2019. Installation view.

'MY FOREST IS NOT YOUR GARDEN' BY DONNA ONG AND ROBERT ZHAO RENHUI

A sea of green above a pool of water sounds like everyone's ideal of blissful eye candy. At APT9, it's Donna One and Robert Zhao Renhui's contribution to the fold, as found in QAG's already peaceful and serene Watermall. Walk across the platform above the indoor pond, and plenty of plants await, although these aren't any old potted pieces. They're actually a mixed-media assemblage that makes a statement about the use of nature in both Chinese and European art, with each one littered with tiny animals. Plus, while you're wandering through this leafy part of the exhibition, you'll also be able to see Kawayan de Guia's bright wall of works — a mashup of pop culture images and references to Filipino politics — in front of  it.

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The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art runs until April 28, 2019 at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, South Brisbane.

Top image: CAO Fei. Beijing, China b. 1978. Asia One 2018. HD video installation: 63:20 minutes, sound, colour, ed. 2/7 (edition TBC) Collection: Queensland Art Gallery.

Published on December 03, 2018 by Sarah Ward

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