Work by leading Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie will be one of the many highlights at the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9) when it opens at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) on Saturday 24 November 2018.
The world’s largest exhibition featuring art from Australia, Asia and the Pacific, Qiu Zhijie’s enormous ink painting, Map of Technological Ethics, will be among more than 80 individuals, collectives and group projects from more than 30 countries to feature in the ninth chapter of the Gallery’s flagship exhibition series.
“Born in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province in 1969, and now living and working in Beijing, Qiu Zhijie is one of the most important Chinese artists of his generation and a leading figure in conceptual and new media art globally,” said Director Chris Saines. “We are thrilled to have Qiu Zhijie here in Brisbane in late August to create his major, site-specific work for the forthcoming Triennial.”
Mr Saines said another highlight of the forthcoming Triennial would be a display of large, circular sculptural forms created from nassa shells, known as ‘Tutana’ or ‘Loloi’ by members of the Gunantuna community of Nangananga Village from East New Britain, Papua New Guinea.
Premiering at GOMA, these objects were specially created for APT9, and will tower above visitors as they enter the building. Conveying ideas of wealth and value, the Tutana are constructed from thousands of shells – the very material Gunantuna people use as legal tender to acquire goods and exchange items as well as to enact relationships during major rites of passage such as marriages, initiation and funerals.
Among the many other key works in the exhibition will be Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri’s four-sided video installation, DIVER 2018 – which conjures the presence of a large scale aquarium in the Gallery. On screen, synchronised swimmers perform in a pearlescent body of water as they mimic the repetitive movements of divers.
The work is an ode to the pearling industry of the Persian Gulf that was supplanted by the oil boom, and it serves as a reminder that mining for oil – like the diving for pearls before it – as an industry will, in time, be replaced by another economic force.
A video installation by Chinese-born artist Cao Fei is concerned with the pervasiveness of robotics today and the future of human labour in an era of expanding artificial intelligence and automatic supply chains, while Vuth Lyno’s towering installation of Cambodian spirit houses retrieved from the iconic, now demolished White Building in Phnom Penh memorialises the vibrant community of more than 2000 residents who once occupied the building.
A major new work by Singapore-based artists Donna Ong and Robert Zhao Renhui, My forest is not your garden, will dramatically transform QAG’s Watermall into a landscape investigating the artifice of nature. The collaboration integrates Ong’s evocative arrangements of artificial flora and tropical exotica with Zhao’s meticulously organised archive of Singapore’s natural history.
With one of the largest representations of First Nation artists in a Triennial to date, APT9 features work by Jonathan Jones, Vincent Namatjira, Alair Pambegan, Margaret Rarru and Helen Ganalmirriwuy, James Tylor (Australia), Simon Gende (PNG), Lisa Reihana and Areta Wilkinson(Aotearoa New Zealand); Kapulani Landgraf (Hawai’i;), Idas Losin of Truku and Atayal heritage (Taiwan); Mao Ishikawa (Okinawa) and Tcheu Siong (Laos).
In addition to the exhibition, APT9 will include an extensive cinema program of contemporary New Bollywood films from India, films from the Marshall Islands (presented in conjunction with the Pacific Arts Association Conference) and Mellow Dramas – a showcase of intimate dramas by filmmakers from Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Known for its children’s programming, APT9 Kids will feature eight interactive projects by artists especially for children and families, including Purple Reign – an immersive ‘secret garden’ populated with images of jacarandas and interactive experiences by Australian artist Gary Carsley.
Mr Saines said the Gallery’s Asia Pacific Triennial, now in its twenty-fifth year, continued to be an important showcase of the most exciting new work being produced in Asia, the Pacific and Australia, and a significant highlight on the international arts calendar.
The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9) is presented across the entire Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and key spaces in the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) from Saturday 24 November 2018 until 28 April 2019. For more information, visit: www.qagoma.qld.gov.au for details.
Image: Qiu Zhijie, Map of Technological Ethics, 2018. Site-specific mural, APT9 – QAGOMA, Brisbane – courtesy Chloe Callistemon and © the artist