QAGOMA Thompson, Christian 'Trinity 1'

Queensland Art Gallery |Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane

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Are you curious to see what contemporary artists from the Asia-Pacific region are focusing on? Interested in the wit and wisdom of how they respond to and re-interpret major events both past and present? Keen to see a full-size elephant covered from trunk to tail in bindis, reclining on a floor? The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) brings it all together at the Queensland Art Gallery |Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.

QAGOMA Art, Thompson, Christian 'Trinity 1'
QAGOMA Thompson, Christian ‘Trinity 1’

The flagship exhibition represents 36 countries with 83 artists. There is an enormous array of artwork across both galleries including traditional painting, sculpture, mixed media, and video installations that express cultural, social, and political commentary. Some works can be confrontational such as Myanmar artist Nge Lay’s installation ‘The sick classroom,’an observation on the poor state of education in her country that calls for equal education for all children of Myanmar. Christian Thompson, an indigenous Australian, draws us in with his mesmerising ‘Polari’ suite of photos and accompanying video of himself performing in the Bidjara language. Others, such as the large-scale artwork, ‘All we leave behind are the memories,’ by Indian-born Asim Waqif, encourage you to wander inside the installation and discover the secrets and surprises hidden within.

[bctt tweet=”This flagship exhibition represents 36 countries with 83 artists @QAGOMA #TravelArt”]

As with all major QAGOMA exhibitions, kids are not forgotten. APT8 Kids provides the young and young at heart with their own program including hands-on multimedia activities, treasure hunts, and interactive works. Nge Lay also contributes to APT8 Kids, creating a gallery of drawings from school children in Myanmar that celebrates the importance of family. In return, Queensland school children will exchange drawings with the Myanmar participants. This particular display forms part of a wider APT project seeking to connect children from different cultures throughout the world via drawing.

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QAGOMA Art, Lay, NGE 'The sick classroom' Images Courtesy of QAGOMA & artists Christian Thompson and Nge Lay
QAGOMA Lay, NGE ‘The sick classroom’

A cinema festival and live performances are also a significant part of the Triennial. The APT8 Cinema program has three streams: ‘Filipino Indie’ surveys independent and experimental digital filmmaking from the Philippines; ‘Pop Islam’ explores contemporary representations of Islam on film; and, a retrospective of Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz. With 13 films each running between 4 to 12 hours duration, it’s a case of dipping in and out of the film sessions, though there are, no doubt, ardent fans who are prepared to run this cinematic marathon.

Cafe Britt

[bctt tweet=”Brisbane regularly makes it onto various ‘Most Liveable Cities’ lists”]

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Brisbane is Queensland’s capital city and the third largest in Australia. With its sub-tropical climate and laid-back approach, Brisbane regularly makes it onto various ‘Most Liveable Cities’ lists. For those who enjoy art, the local and state governments run multiple public and street art programs as well as the month-long ‘Brisbane Festival’ each September. Balmy temperatures, sunny skies, and plenty of outdoor dining make Brisbane the perfect destination to unwind and top up on culture.

APT 8 bears repeated visits as you explore this vast exhibition. For those who are on the clock, there are short daily tours of the collection highlights. More information is available at the entry to the galleries. It’s all completely free and completely fabulous.

Images Courtesy of QAGOMA & artists Christian Thompson and Nge Lay

8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8)

QAGOMA

until 10th April 2016

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