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APT 2002

APT 2002 confirms Queensland's position at cutting edge of Asia-Pacific culture: Beattie

12 September 2002

The fourth Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) marks a milestone for the Queensland Art Gallery and highlights Queensland's cultural vibrancy, Premier Peter Beattie said today.

'Since the first Triennial was held in 1993, this flagship event has gained an international reputation and attracted many people who may otherwise have never set foot in an art gallery,' Mr Beattie said.

'The Asia-Pacific Triennial has established and maintained strong, reciprocal cultural links with many countries within the region.

'The benefits of these links spill over into some of the important trade and business relationships we enjoy with our neighbours, confirming Queensland's position in the Asia-Pacific.

'This Triennial demonstrates our willingness to engage with the region and the high priority my Government places on those relationships,' Mr Beattie said.

Mr Beattie will officially open the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art 2002 tonight.

Yayoi Kusama's work Narcissus Garden, which is a sea of 2000 mirror balls floating in the Queensland Art Gallery's Watermall, is just one of the art works set to intrigue and surprise visitors to the event.

Yayoi Kusama is one of three internationally influential artists at the heart of the exhibition.

Mr Beattie said APT's reputation for challenging perceptions and celebrating the unique cultures of the region continues to lure old and new audiences.

'The Gallery's work has contributed to growing international interest in art from the region and the regular inclusion of Asia-Pacific artists in major contemporary art expositions around the world.

'It's a tribute to the Gallery and its staff who realised in the early 1990s that contemporary Asia-Pacific art was not receiving due recognition at an international level.

'There are new exhibition projects in centres such as Fukuoka, Singapore, Taipei, Auckland and Yokohama that deal with art from this region, as well as established exhibitions in New York, Venice and Sao Paulo, which now regularly feature artists from the Asia-Pacific.

'The developments are the direct result of the important role played by the Queensland Art Gallery and the Triennial in promoting these works,' he said.

Minister for the Arts, Matt Foley, said APT was the first and continues to be the only major series of world exhibitions to focus on the contemporary art of Asia and the Pacific.

'Today, the Queensland Art Gallery is recognised as a leader in showing and interpreting this work, and is one of the few public institutions in the world to focus on collecting contemporary Asian art,' Mr Foley said.

'APT 2002 considers developments in contemporary art over the past four decades, through in-depth explorations of 16 individual artists, plus a collective of artists and performers from the Pacific.'

The exhibition opens today and continues until 27 January 2003.

It reflects key themes drawn from the preoccupations of the senior international artists Nam June Paik (South Korea/United States), Lee U-fan (South Korea/Japan) and Yayoi Kusama (Japan/United States).

A busy program of opening events, from 13 to 15 September celebrates the exhibition's launch.

A highlight of the opening events program is the Pasifika Divas performance on 14 September, which is an amalgamation of Pacific performances, satire, body adornment and eclectic fashion.

Kids' APT, an innovative program of art and activities for children aged between 3 and 12 continues for the duration of APT 2002.

Especially themed programs will also be presented for young audiences.

Queensland Art Gallery Director Doug Hall said the APT's opening program of artist talks, lectures, performances and panel discussions typically drew thousands of people to the Gallery.

'During the opening weekend of APT there is always a terrific atmosphere with visitors really taking ownership of the Gallery and the exhibition,' Mr Hall said.

'The key themes of this APT include the impact of the moving image on twentieth-century visual culture, performance in contemporary art and the complexities of globalisation.

'Film and video are important to APT 2002, so much so that works by six artists will be seen literally at the heart of the show, in a purpose-built screening room in one of our major Gallery spaces,' he said.

Nam June Paik is regarded as a pioneer of video and electronic art and is represented in APT 2002 by a number of his most important works.

The Queensland Art Gallery has the strongest Paik collection in Australia.

Included in APT 2002 is TV cello 2002, a sculpture in the shape of a musical instrument made from six television monitors and his seminal video work, Global groove 1973, both from the Gallery's collection.

Lee U-fan is a philosopher, writer, painter and sculptor, whose work in APT 2002 includes With winds 1990 from the Gallery's Collection.

One of Japan's most important postwar artists, Yayoi Kusama, is represented by nine works, ranging from the Narcissus garden 1966/2002 to the delicate Infinity nets 2000 painting.

Other artists featured in APT 2002 are Montien Boonma (Thailand), Eugene Carchesio (Australia), Heri Dono (Indonesia), Joan Grounds (USA/Australia), Ralph Hotere (New Zealand), Jose Legaspi (Philippines), Michael Ming Hong Lin (Taiwan), Nalini Malani (India), Pasifika Divas (Pacific Islands and Aotearoa New Zealand), Lisa Reihana (Aotearoa New Zealand), Michael Riley (Australia), Song Dong (China), Suh Do-Ho (South Korea/USA) and Howard Taylor (Australia).