An Epi Centre of Asian-Pacific Arts Wells in Brisbane
Words by Rachel Trevarthen
Brisbane is currently an epi-centre for arts and culture from the Asia Pacific.
The combined opening on the weekend of the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival and the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8) saw around 35 000 people enter the doors of Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).
A highlight of the weekend was Indonesian artist Melati Suryodarmo’s enduring performance of I’m a Ghost in My Own House 2012 in which the artist crushed and ground charcoal briquettes into powder and dust for 12 hours.
The performance was recorded and will be replayed on screens in the gallery space, surrounded by hundreds of kilograms of charcoal, which are the remnants of the performance.
Other draw points include a major installation of salvaged Queensland timber by Indian artist Asim Waqif, and a major new work by South Korean artist Haegue Yang consisting of 1000 venetian blinds suspended elegantly in the iconic Watermall.
QAGOMA Acting Director Maud Page said that the door count for the opening night events for APT8 was almost 14 000.
‘The opening night saw the largest attendance for an APT since the inception of the triennial 22 years ago, reflecting the growth of this important cultural event in the calendars of local, interstate and international visitors,’ said Ms Page.
The APT is the only recurring art exhibition to focus on contemporary art from Australia, Asia and the Pacific Region. It exhibits art from more than 80 artists across 30 countries and this year includes art from countries not previously included such as Mongolia, Nepal, the Kyrgyz Republic and Georgia.
QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said that APT8 would explore the role of performance in recent art, and how the human form expresses cultural, social and political concerns.
‘APT has always responded to individual and collective artistic achievement. The rapid evolution of contemporary art practice in Asia and the Pacific has brought about APT8’s focus on performance and the body’s ability to tell stories and communicate ideas,’ said Mr Saines.