QAGOMA to be world leader, exhibition creator


The Queensland Art Galley | Gallery of Modern Art aspires to become the world’s leading museum for the contemporary art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific, Director Chris Saines said in an address outlining his vision for the future of the institution this week. Mr Saines signalled a shift toward using the Gallery’s expertise to produce major exhibitions including a show of new work by Queensland-born artist Tracey Moffatt in late 2014 and a significant survey of Queensland contemporary art in 2015.

An international symposium would be reinstated for the eighth edition of the Gallery’s flagship project, the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, in 2015–16, which would consider new countries and a younger generation of artists, and feature a strong presentation of performance.

Other QAGOMA curated projects flagged in the address were a series of exhibitions of international master artists including Cindy Sherman in 2016 and Gerhard Richter in 2018, along with an ambitious exhibition exploring light, space and architecture to mark GOMA’s tenth anniversary in 2016–17.

Also announced was the acquisition of one of the major new commissions that will appear in ‘Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth’, opening 23 November. The Gallery will acquire the spectacular site-specific installation Heritage, thanks to the generosity of Queensland benefactor Win Schubert. 

Watch the full address above, or read the transcript.


  1. Chris, I found your vision statement so refreshing.
    I am not aware of a QAG director having ever done anything as generous as this.
    I want to applaud such openness. it is of course great for Brisbane to be put in touch with the thinking of the new Director but mostly because I think openness like other human characterilstics is contageous.

    I don’t usually do twitter or such things as electronic comments but the reason I have waited to submit is because I planned to read the hard copy or listen again before I did but I have just not had time as yet. So from memory I applaud the choices you have made – such great artworks and ways of thinking will be valuable expeirences for gallery viewers – I am remembering many of Turrell’s works I have seen over the years – many of your decisions bring experiences that travellers would be very lucky to pick up on their trips abroad. Best wishes, Glen

  2. Hi Glen. Thank you for taking the time to let us know. We will pass on your message to the Director. Regards QAGOMA

  3. During my visit to Cai GuoJiang’s recent exhibit, as I was attempting to enjoy the ‘Heritage’ installation and was told by a gallery attendant that I could only view the piece by moving around in a clockwise direction. It was disconcerting to be told there was only one way to see this/ very dictatorial indeed. I was quite concerned that we (the paying audience) are directed so forcefully. Why is this happening? A reply would be appreciated.

  4. Hi Dianne.

    The Gallery aims to provide a friendly and welcoming environment, so we were very sorry to learn that your experience was not as positive as we would hope. The suggestion that visitors move in an anti-clockwise direction is to help with visitor flow, particularly at busy times, and was also discussed with the artist as the best sequence to experience Heritage. We apologise if this was not communicated to you respectfully. Your feedback has been forwarded on to our front of house staff for their consideration.

    We genuinely appreciate your feedback and hope that you will have an opportunity to visit the gallery again in the near future.

    Regards QAGOMA