No.1 Photography

 

QAGOMA’s Research Library is home to the documentation behind the Asia Pacific Triennial series of exhibitions, which forms the basis of the archives of the Australian Centre of Asia Pacific Art (ACAPA). Cataloguing and digitising the archive is no small task but one that will be worthwhile.

In preparation for ‘No.1 Neighbour: Art in Papua New Guinea 1966–2016’, exhibition curator Ruth McDougall delved into 23 years of archival material and searched through the many hundreds of negatives, slides and photographic prints dating back to the first Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) in 1993, which fill 12 filing cabinet draws. These images are housed in the Special Collections room within the Gallery’s Research Library and form a major component of the ACAPA (Australian Centre of Asia Pacific Art) Archive.

The Australian Centre of Asia Pacific Art (ACAPA) and QAGOMA Research Library are located on Level 3, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

An invaluable and unique visual reference for curators and researchers, the archive shows artists in their element: installing works, preparing for performances and events, at opening nights and artist parties, or helping Gallery curators to discover new works from across Asia, to be brought back to Australia for future exhibitions. Staging ‘No.1 Neighbour’ gave the Library the opportunity to source imagery relating to Papuan artists who had participated in past APTs.

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Anna and Michael Mel preparing for their Ples Name! (Our Place!) performance for the opening weekend of APT2, September 1996 / Photograph: Ray Fulton
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Anna and Michael Mel preparing for their Ples Name! (Our Place!) performance for the opening weekend of APT2, September 1996 / Photograph: Ray Fulton

Many hidden gems held in these cabinets were uncovered when viewing negatives over a light box, and provide an interesting picture of these artists and their works. They included a photograph of a painting by ‘No.1 Neighbour’ artist Joe Nalo (an inaugural APT participant) as well as a series of slides capturing Michael and Anna Mel preparing for their Ples Name! (Our Place!) performance for the APT2 opening weekend in 1996, images that will also appear in the exhibition. The Mels performed ceremonial dance rituals and displayed the traditional body paintings of the Hagan area in the Western Highland Provinces.

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Wendi Choulai’s performance of Egu Rami during the opening weekend of APT2, September 1996 / Photograph: Richard Stringer
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Wendi Choulai’s performance of Egu Rami during the opening weekend of APT2, September 1996 / Photograph: Richard Stringer

Wendi Choulai’s opening-weekend performance for APT2 blended a traditional ritual with a contemporary, artistic twist in the mourning dance Roiroipe. In it she wears black, the Western colour of mourning, with the Motu-Koita traditional dyed grass skirts. Captured by distinguished photographer Richard Stringer, these photographs reveal a pictorial story of Choulai’s performance and provide alternative views from the event video, which will play in the ‘No.1 Neighbour’ exhibition space and is also available on QAGOMA TV.

Collating, organising and documenting these images has been part of the Gallery’s Imaging Services project, initiated in 2015 by QAGOMA photographer Natasha Harth in collaboration with the Library. Thanks to this project and special assistance from volunteers including Gillian Jones, a recent Queensland College of Art photography graduate, all analogue photography from the first, second and third APTs will eventually be digitised.

The Library, together with Imaging Services, is working towards cataloguing and digitising all APT exhibition documentation — such as the performance images shown here — into one searchable archive, creating an accessible online home for the Gallery’s rich APT exhibition history.

This is an extract from the Gallery’s Artlines magazine available from the Gallery Store. Keep up to date with the Gallery’s seasonal publication delivered each quarter to QAGOMA Members.

The APT8 archive – then and now

 
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The APT archive’s current profile at the Research Library

For the duration of the ‘The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT8) our Research Library is sharing APT archival material, with displays changing regularly. The archives include artwork proposals, objects and project documentation relating to the work of artists from Australia, Asia and the Pacific, dating back to the early 1990s.

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Daging Tumbuh (DGTMB) Vol. 11, 2006

Daging Tumbuh (DGTMB), which literally translates as ‘diseased tumour’, is an underground comic that begun in June 2000. It was initiated by Indonesian artist Eko Nugroho, who was a participating artist in APT5. His concept was for DGTMB to operate in an open contribution system, void of selection processes and themes. Contributors to the comic include Indonesian artists such as Hahan and Wedhar Riyadi, whose works are included in the touring QAGOMA regional exhibition ‘Indo Pop:  Indonesian Art from APT7’.

DGTMB is a photocopied publication which often features tactile covers and about 150 copies are produced. Its content can and should be photocopied by anyone who wishes to share it.

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Daging Tumbuh (DGTMB) Vol. 10, 2005
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Daging Tumbuh (DGTMB) Vol. 6, 2003

The Library holds volumes 1­ to 11 of the published editions and we have copies available for you to look through. All issues are now available online.

The QAGOMA Research Library is located on Level 3 of the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. Visit the Library to access our online catalogue and learn more about our collections and services.

The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT)
is the Gallery’s flagship exhibition focused on the work of Asia, the Pacific and Australia.
21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016

Exhibition Founding Sponsor: Queensland Government
Exhibition Principal Sponsor: Audi Australia

Then and now: The APT8 archive

 

Navin Production vitrine display QAGOMA Library

For the duration of the ‘The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT8) our Research Library is sharing APT archival material, with displays changing regularly. The archives include artwork proposals, objects and project documentation relating to the work of artists from Australia, Asia and the Pacific, dating back to the early 1990s.

A few artists participating in APT8 have appeared in previous APT’s, such as Navin Rawanchaikul. He travelled to Australia in 1993 to assist the late Montien Boonma for the first APT and then returned for APT2 in 1996 as a participating artist.

Rawanchaikul, a Thai artist of Indian descent, often explores the theme of identity, using both real and fictitious elements in his art practice. He also places an importance on community, establishing the artist collective Navin Production, which emphasises the collaborative and socially engaged possibilities of art and has recently celebrated 20 years.

The Library has collected items released to coincide with Rawanchaikul’s exhibitions and installations, including a collection of comics and books created by Navin Production. These range from comics produced for Rawanchaikul’s ‘Taxi’ series (the taxi cab as an art gallery), to the Same same but another Millennium two-part comic produced for the international art journal Flash Art, taking its cue from the ‘end of the world’ conspiracies as the clocked ticked over to 1 January 2000.

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More recently Rawanchaikul has incorporated ‘Navinism’ (the world of Navins) within his installations, for example his 2007 book Quotations from Comrade Navin, a passbook from the 2011 Venice Biennale and the 2007 comic Who is Navin?, a melded biography of Navin Rawanchaikul, covering his Bollywood adventure and the founding of the Navin Party.

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The QAGOMA Research Library is located on Level 3 of the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. Visit the Library’s website to access our online catalogue and learn more about our collections and services.

The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT)
is the Gallery’s flagship exhibition focused on the work of Asia, the Pacific and Australia.
21 November 2015 – 10 April 2016

Exhibition Founding Sponsor: Queensland Government
Exhibition Principal Sponsor: Audi Australia

Daido Moriyama’s ‘Kiroku’ and other highlights

 

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The current exhibition ‘We can make another future: Japanese art after 1989’ celebrates the breadth of Japanese art in the Gallery’s Collection, including holdings from the Research Library and Australian Centre of Asia Pacific Art (ACAPA) Archives.

The Library holds an impressive range of items on and by Japanese artists, many especially acquired in conjunction with the Gallery’s Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) exhibitions. These include such rarities as the hard plastic concertina sheets illustrated with the McDonald’s golden arches that formed the 2001 publication by Masato Nakamura entitled QSC+mV (Quality, Service, Clean + m Value), based on Nakamura’s installation QSC + V 1998, exhibited as part of APT3.

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Other highlights include the one-off magazine issue, Kusama Presents an Orgy of Nudity, Love, Sex & Beauty, created by Yayoi Kusama in 1966, displayed alongside miniature Narcissus mirror balls from APT 2002. Also featured in the display are the Fluxus Newspaper no.8 and the exhibition catalogue for ‘Fluxfest Presentation of John Lennon & Yoko Ono + at 80 Wooster St., New York, 1970’, both from the Library’s Francesco Conz Archive.

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But if I were asked to choose a favourite from the display, I‘d probably select Kiroku, a photo-journal created by renowned Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama. Kiroku translates as ‘record’, a name chosen to reflect the purpose of the photo- journal – a way for Moriyama to make use of the images he captured in a certain time and place. Five issues were created between 1972 and 1973, self-published in a zine style photocopied format but time and money constraints forced Kiroku to the backburner. Fortunately in 2008 Japanese publisher Akio Nagasawa approached Moriyama to reinstate the photo journal on an ongoing basis and so it came to be that issue 6 was released. The most recent issue, no.27, was published in late 2014. Our Library has the complete holdings, thanks to funds donated by Dr Caroline Turner through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation.

Moriyama writes a brief note in each issue that gives the reader an insight into the where, the why and sometimes how he was feeling or IS feeling (it may have little to do with the images preceding!). I especially enjoyed the comments in issues 13 and 14. In issue 13, Moriyama, a photographer most famous for his grainy black and white images, explores his attraction to it, declaring ‘photography has to be black and white’, but in a teasing act of contrition, issue 14 is entirely dedicated to full colour digital photography. It’s these glimpses into Moriyama’s character that make Kiroku special.

Most of these items are usually only viewable in the Library by appointment, but for the duration of the exhibition until 20 September 2015, visitors can see them on display in the lounge outside the Library on level 3, GOMA. You can also find books in the Research Library on the artists whose works are included in ‘We can make another future: Japanese art after 1989’. The accompanying publication is also available.

'We Can Make Another Future - Japanese Art after 1989 Exhibition catalogue