Last week, QAGOMA staged its first ever international launch and press preview for ‘Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth‘. Gallery Director Chris Saines was joined in Shanghai by artist Cai Guo-Qiang as they introduced Chinese press to the impending wonders and major new commissions to feature in Cai’s solo exhibition – the first in Australia, which opens at GOMA from November 23.
Following an introduction by Australian Consul-General in Shanghai Ms Alice Cawte, Chris gave attending media a brief history of our two-site museum, with a focus on the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT), the exhibition series which helped forge the robust working relationship between Cai and the Gallery.
Cai spoke in detail about his history with the Queensland Art Gallery, dating back to his inclusion in the second and third APT exhibitions in 1996 and 1999. The latter included his contribution to the first ever Kids’ APT, and was a landmark for his own interest in contemporary art projects for children. This field of his practice has extended into many of Cai’s projects since, and an interactive children’s project will be an essential part of ‘Falling Back to Earth’ when it opens in November.
He also discussed the two breathtaking new installations that will debut in Brisbane: the wondrous Heritage, an assembly of 99 animal sculptures gathered around a watering hole, and Eucalyptus, a meditative response to the ancient trees of Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Two of the 99 animals from the Heritage menagerie have already arrived in Brisbane, and a sneak peek of Cai working on some of the others can be seen here.