For visitors to Australia, it is impossible not to see how heavily neighbouring countries influence our food, our culture and in many ways, our appreciation of art. As part of a larger Asian Pacific community, with about a quarter of our population born overseas, the ‘face’ of our Australian society can’t be simplified with a description of one look; nor can the diversity of contemporary art styles within our region be easily generalised.
Luckily for us, Brisbane gets to host the incredible Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art every three years, and this year it is on again. Beginning in 1993, the eighth and latest incarnation is known as APT8, an exhibition space that chooses to celebrate the creative influence of traditional difference within our region in a truly accessible and public format. Displayed in both the Gallery of Modern Art and the nearby Queensland Art Gallery, art lovers can get their creative kicks for free.
APT8 emphasises the role of performance in recent art, with live actions, video, kinetic art, figurative painting and sculpture. All with the aim of exploring the use of the human form to express cultural, social and political ideas, as well as valuing the central role of artists in articulating experiences specific to their culture and country.
APT8 includes more than 80 artists and groups, an ongoing program of artist performances and projects, a lengthy cinema program, and a seemingly endless activities schedule to occupy kids and families. The children’s ever-developing, glow in the dark art space is particularly cool.
For those that can’t make it to Brisbane for the exhibition I’ve added some images from my favourite pieces; the air-conditioned, architectural spaces almost as appealing as the artwork on a sweaty Summer’s day. And for those curious about the history of APT you might like this, or a link to our blog from the last one – APT7.
Here’s hoping you can make it there – it’s on until April 10!