Brush with greatness: ‘full of joy’ triennial set to open at QAGOMA

Almost three decades after its first iteration, the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is set to open featuring 69 works which explore the identities and aesthetics of the Asia-Pacific, including the installation of a 10 metre-long loom of human hair.

Nov 22, 2021, updated Nov 22, 2021
It's unclearly clear, as yet incomplete (detail) 2017-21 Paper collage, Buddhist monk robes, urethane, metal3 parts: 400 x 800 cm. (each) Commissioned for APT10. (Image: the artist Thasnai Sethaseree)

It's unclearly clear, as yet incomplete (detail) 2017-21 Paper collage, Buddhist monk robes, urethane, metal3 parts: 400 x 800 cm. (each) Commissioned for APT10. (Image: the artist Thasnai Sethaseree)

The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art is a flagship series from Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art which celebrates emerging and established artists from the Asia Pacific.

The exhibition will feature 69 projects from 150 artists which spans across 30 nations.

APT10 will play host to a huge array of artistic mediums including large-scale installations, immersive multimedia artworks, sculpture, textiles, paintings, photography and video.

The series was developed 28 years ago in an effort to examine the cultural concepts of tradition and identity across ever porous borders in an increasingly globalised world.

Years on, the series still follows emerging artists across the Asia Pacific and their contributions to discourse on culture, identity, and aesthetics.

The tenth iteration of the series will also feature three curated cinema programs, interactive artist projects for children and families, plus onsite and virtual events including Up Late and a closing weekend Festival.

QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said the installation of the tenth chapter in the Gallery’s flagship series was underway, with the full list of artists announced for the exhibition, due to open from 4 December 2021 until 25 April 2022.

Rocky Cajigan Fontok and Kankanaey people The Philippines Hairloom 2021, Commissioned for APT10. (Image: Chloë Callistemon)

“Since its first edition almost 30 years ago, APT has established an international reputation as a challenging and dynamic exhibition, highlighting the most exciting developments in contemporary art from across our culturally diverse region,” Mr Saines said.

“Presented at both QAG and GOMA and including recent and newly-commissioned works, APT involves a great depth of research by the Gallery’s in-house curators working closely with a broad network of artists and specialists across an expansive geography.”

Programmed works include Vipoo Srivilasa’s immersive, participatory installation Shrine of Life/ Benjapakee Shrine 2021 and Rocky Cajigan’s Hairloom 2021, a newly commissioned work featuring a ten metre-long loom of human hair.

There will also be work by I Made Djirna who has created a cave-like environment from pumice stone, rock, terracotta and dried coconut husks, inspired by Balinese culture and landscape.

Malaysian artist Chong Kim Chiew’s work Boundary Fluidity is an installation of maps painted onto tarpaulin which reorients the geographic and political topography of Malaysia and its neighbours, deconstructing the idea of the nation state.

Saines said APT10 is full of stories of travel, journeys, migrations and connections to place. It’s layered with responses, questions and ideas about the present moment, the many issues facing humanity, and propositions towards the future from a diversity of cultural perspectives.

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“It includes works of art that are by turn highly personal, deeply political, and full of joy,” he said.

“With the global impact of COVID-19, APT10 has presented logistical challenges, but it has also been exceptionally rewarding to see how artists work through such tremendous change. It has necessitated new approaches to exhibition-making, and we’ve worked virtually with artists, advisors and collaborators to facilitate exchanges and outcomes from afar.

3AM Myanmar est. 2016
Graduated Uneducated 2021. Photograph on paper (Image: the artists ©3AM)

“More than ever before, community and collaboration is a major feature of this Triennial with many artists achieving ambitious results through working with groups or as part of collectives, such as the Bajau Sama Dilaut people in Sabah Borneo, Gidree Bawlee Foundation of Arts in north-western Bangladesh and Seleka International Arts Society Initiative in Tonga.”

Saines said the Gallery’s research arm, the Australian Centre for Asian and Pacific Art (ACAPA) had provided the framework for new initiatives that will further broaden community engagement.

‘The ACAPA Pacifika Community Engagement Project, created with a dynamic team of ten local Pacific Islanders, and five community groups in south-east Queensland, has informed the way Pasifika projects in the exhibition are presented, broadened relationships and translated artwork labels into Pacific languages,” he said.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the Queensland Government was a founding supporter of the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT), which showcases and celebrates the diverse arts and cultures of the Asia Pacific region.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s continued investment in the APT has enabled QAGOMA to build a truly outstanding event of international significance bringing communities together with powerful voices telling their own stories,” Minister Enoch said.

“Over the past nine exhibitions, the Asia Pacific Triennial has attracted more than 3.7 million visitors. APT9 alone attracted 718,000 visits, contributing almost $35 million to Queensland’s economy and generating more than 288,000 visitor nights.”

The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art opens at QAGOMA on 4 December 2021 and runs until 25 April 2022. 

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