2009: GOMA turns 10 countdown
Wednesday 12 October 2016 Share FacebookDelicious Email

This, our fourth blog highlights another major exhibition in our weekly countdown to GOMA’s tenth birthday this December. In 2009 ‘The China Project’ opened at GOMA (28 March – 28 June 2009), a three-part display of contemporary Chinese art practice that displayed around 150 extraordinary works from the 1980s by 51 contemporary Chinese artists. Paralleling this exhibition was ‘Zhang Xiaogang: Shadows in the Soul’ an exhibition by one of China’s most eminent painters, as well as a commissioned project ‘William Yang: Life Lines’ highlighting Australia’s long and complex migrant history with its northern neighbour China.

The exhibition featured some of the Gallery’s major installation pieces, including Xu Bing’s spectacular A book from the sky 1987–91, Cai Guo Qiang’s Dragon or Rainbow Serpent: A myth glorified or feared (drawings) Project for extraterrestrials no 26 1996 and Ah Xian’s group of 36 bronze busts.

'The China Project' installation viewXu Bing, China/United States b.1955 / A book from the sky 1987-91 / Woodblock print, wood, leather, ivory / Four banners; 19 boxes (each, containing four books) / The Kenneth and Yasuko Myer Collection of Contemporary Asian Art. Purchased 1994 with funds from the International Exhibitions Program and with the assistance of The Myer Foundation and Michael Sidney Myer through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

'The China Project' installation viewCai Guo-Qiang, China b.1957 / Nine Dragon Wall (Drawing for Dragon or Rainbow Serpent: A Myth Glorified or Feared: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 28) 1996 / Spent gunpowder and Indian ink on Japanese paper / Nine sheets / Purchased 1996 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

'The China Project' installation viewAh Xian, China/Australia b.1960 / Metaphysica series / Bronze and brass / Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2010. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program/ Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

'The China Project' installation viewWang Qingsong, China b.1966 / China Red 2008-09 / Ink and synthetic polymer paint on paper / 1300 sheets in two sizes / Gift of the artist through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation 2009 / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

'The China Project' installation viewZhou Xiaohu, China b.1960 / Utopian theatre 2006 / 11-channel video and fired clay installation / Purchased 2007. The Queensland Government’s Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

'The China Project' installation viewXu Zhen, China b.1977 / ShanghART Supermarket (Australia) 2007-08 / Mixed media installation / Purchased 2008. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

'The China Project' installation viewWang Wenhai, China b.1950 / Mao Zedong and Mao Zedong 2003 / Fibreglass / Two figures / Purchased 2007. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist

'The China Project' installation viewInstallation of ‘Life Lines’ by William Yang / All photography: Natasha Harth © QAGOMA

The exhibition celebrated the significance of contemporary Chinese art and the Gallery’s commitment to developing a unique collection of works from the 1980s onwards, a period of enormous change in China, with the flowering of contemporary art as a response to social, political and cultural transformation.

Since the early 1990s, the Gallery has collected important contemporary Chinese works, with ‘The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ acting as a major catalyst, alongside key acquisitions and donations. In ‘The China Project’, works ranged from delicate porcelain items to large-scale installations, highlighting the diversity and innovation of contemporary Chinese art across the mediums of painting, photography, video, sculpture, installation and printmaking.

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Other exhibitions at GOMA in 2009 you may remember include: ‘The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6)’ which occupied the entire Gallery of Modern Art; ‘The view from elsewhere’ featured contemporary video art and cinema practice from across Asia and the Middle East; ‘Easton Pearson’ a survey of the Brisbane-based, internationally acclaimed fashion house; ‘Nurreegoo: The Art and Life of Ron Hurley 1946–2002’ focused on Hurley’s distinguished career as one of the early leaders of the urban political movement in Aboriginal art; ‘Floating Life’ highlighted the importance of fibre within Aboriginal culture and the commitment of the Gallery in developing a unique collection of objects; ‘Tim Johnson: Painting Ideas’ surveyed Johnson’s light performances, films and artist books of the early 1970s to his mature collaborative paintings; ‘Spencer Finch’ explored the peculiarities of human perception, Finch brings a poetic sensibility and a rigorous scientific approach to a wide range of media, including painting, drawing, photography and installation; and Anish Kapoor’s red sculpture Untitled 2006-07 was commissioned and displayed for the first time.

WHAT EXHIBITION AT GOMA HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE?

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