What to see at the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9)

This exhibition is like having all of the interesting people at the party in one place. Vibrant and fun with interactive installations you will be able to come back again and again and still discover something new. Did we mention it's free?

Held every three years, The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT9) returns to the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). Bringing together more than 80 artists from over 30 countries and exhibiting never-before-seen installations, photographs, paintings, sculptures and videos, there is something for everyone. We have to admit we are suckers for the APT9 kid's projects – they are perfect for the big kids too.

1. Purple Reign | a secret garden

This interactive activity showcases the purple reign of Brisbane’s seasonal jacarandas in bloom. Gary Carsley has created a ‘secret garden’ bursting with purple flowers and an interactive animated video and touchscreen activity. In the immortal words of Prince, this exhibit will make you feel like you are ‘bathing in the purple rain’.

2. (Untitled) giran | feathers and wind

This piece by Jonathan Jones and Dr Uncle Stan Grant Snr AM is made up of approximately 2000 small sculptures based on traditional tools. Creating an impressive pattern across the expanse of the room these sculptures are placed to map the currents of the wind. The pieces have been made from materials collected from around Narrandera in New South Wales and the artwork would not have been realised without the Aboriginal community who have helped create this project through conversations, gifts and inspiration. Each small sculpture has feathers attached making the tools appear like flocks of birds flying across the space.

3. On the other day | a ghostly experience

This installation by Joyce Ho creates a strange atmosphere that challenges your brain to make sense of what you are seeing. Made up of semi-transparent glass with seating on either side, the real fun begins when someone sits opposite you. In this playful piece, you become apart of the art itself.  With a humorous edge, the work also makes you feel a little uncomfortable with its stark hospital like walls. Take a friend or wait for another gallery goer to be part of your interactive experience and watch as ghostly figures meld with your own. 

4. Conversatio: A cabinet of wonder | bee inquisitive

What threats are faced by the honey bee? What would happen to our global ecosystem if the honey bee became extinct? This artwork by Anne Noble celebrates the importance of bees in our lives using photography, video and amazingly, a working beehive within the gallery. The hive is displayed in a stunning wooden cabinet with a perspex runway attached where you can see the bees leaving and entering the hive. The detailed and wonderful images of the bees are created with gold dust and recorded with an electron microscope. Make sure you see this one on the top floor of GOMA - it is pretty sweet.  

5. For, in your tongue, I can not fit | surround sound

The voice of politicians, dictators, activists and revolutionaries follow you around the space as you wander between 100 hanging microphones. Beneath are huge metal spikes with skewered sheets of paper that have lines of poetry from imprisoned and sometimes executed authors, which you will also hear read out in multiple languages. This piece explores censorship and suppression throughout the ages giving a voice to those who were not allowed to be heard.     

6. The Wall: Asian Un(real) Estate Project | A dolls house

This piece by Aditya Novali looks at Indonesia’s lack of affordable housing for low-income communities. This cross-section of an apartment building reveals the internal living spaces, brick walls and metal bars of a prison cell. Here you can glimpse the personal living spaces of the building's occupants, admiring the detail and humorous touches included by the artist. Every day the piece will be rotated and moved giving visitors the opportunity to visit multiple times and experience a different dialogue with the work.

7.  Zico Albaquini’s series of oils on canvas | Vivid hues

Vibrant, bright and dimensionally challenging, these landscapes by Zico Albaquin play with the aspects of Indonesian art history and the stereotype of what it means to be a painter. You can look at these paintings for hours, discovering new layers of meaning and commentary. The artist specifically focused on the links between art, advertising and contemporary environmental issues in Indonesia. We love these bright canvases, check them out for yourself on the top floor of the gallery.    

8. My forest is not your garden | Jungle love

Get exploring on this jungle boardwalk through the Watermall in the Queensland Art Gallery with this mixed media installation by Donna Ong and Robert Shao Renhui. This artwork focuses on the representation of nature in Chinese and European art. Investigate the perfectly arranged jungle fauna and find the hidden animals amongst the foliage. The carefully curated set of images also featured further explores the representation of nature in art.  

9. Kawayan De Guia mixed media on board | Conversations 

Sculpture and painting collide in these wall-based works by Kawayan De Guia. Exploring numerous themes such as occupation, trade and exchange, these pieces examine the relationship between commodities and communities in the Philippines. His work is full of iconic imagery – spot the decorative torpedo bomb, robot, Louis Vuitton trunk and dinosaurs just to name a few.   

Don’t forget to share your APT9 experience with us at #visitbrisbane and #brisbaneanyday

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