Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
With memories of a decidedly negative, even antagonistic response to the Yokohama Triennale some years back, I approached the Brisbane Asia Pacific Triennale with detached trepidation. Concept-driven, over-intellectualized contemporary art is not my cup of tea, and its continuing dominance of international art markets is, I believe, a cause for regret. (Mind you, the realities of the GFC have laid some of the ‘best’ to rest!)
The 6th Brisbane Triennale was both a visual and an intellectual feast. Catholic in its geographical, cultural, political and spiritual reach, there was a definite combination of beauty, technique and concept. Newspaper photographs of Kohei Nawa’s ‘crystal elk’ conveyed nothing of the overwhelming spiritual beauty of the work. Neither visual images nor word pictures can convey the ethereal beauty and otherworldliness of this installation. Space prevents discussion of the many other stimulating and challenging experiences at the APT (see reviews below) but hats off to an extraordinary curatorial vision and commitment. If you missed it this year (closed April 5) make sure it’s in the diary for next time.