While many artists focus on their own cultural stories or identity, also running through APT8, is an examination of the body as a motif or an artistic instrument and how this reflects social, cultural and political ideas.
Two focus projects that draw on this are: ‘Yumis Danis (We Dance)’ – a multi-media installation of performance dance from across Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ – a look at Indian Indigenous artists (from painters, to scroll makers and clay sculptors) that examine the changes of pictorial styles and forms of storytelling. QAGOMA curator Aaron Seeto says, “‘Kalpa Vriksha’ shows how today’s artists experiment with these traditions, capturing the way traditional iconography and techniques have developed, and how new styles are used to explore contemporary issues.”
The cinema progam presents ‘Pop Islam’ and ‘Filipino Indie’. ‘Pop Islam’ brings together the work of artists and filmmakers from across the region to reflect on the different ways Islam is lived and experienced throughout the world. While ‘Filipino Indie’ celebrates one of the oldest film industries in Asia, screening independent and experimental filmmaking, since 2000.
There are also two new major sculptural works on show. From India, Asim Waqif’s All we leave behind are the memories, 2015, and from Korea, Haegue Yang’s Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Open Modular Cubes (Small), expanded 943 times, 2015. Waqif’s work is made from found objects, detritus and salvaged timbers from piers, wharves and buildings. Informed by principles of architecture, urban planning and interactivity he has built a structure that is both precarious and robust, designed to be entered and explored.
While Haegue Yang’s Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Open Modular Cubes (Small), expanded 943 times, 2015 transforms the space of the Watermall at the Queensland Art Gallery with an installation made from over 1000 Venetian blinds. Arranged into grids and suspended from the ceiling, it nods its head to modernity and references the formal modularity of Sol LeWitt. It transforms the space through light and colour, which shifts and changes throughout the day, depending on time and the viewers own physical and optical experience.
Seeto sees the strength of APT8 is its ability to draw together a diverse audience, “from artists and our curatorial colleagues from around Australia and the world, to Brisbane’s local audiences, kids and casual visitors. What audiences might glean from APT8 is that art from the region is a vast field – there is not one single idea of contemporary art, but many different approaches and practices which reflect the histories, social situations, politics of the region.”
Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art
Until April 10, 2016