Filipino artists take the spotlight at Australian gallery

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Four leading artists from the Philippines are featured in “The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art” (APT8) at Australia’s Queensland Art Gallery-Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) until April 2016.

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QAGOMA Director Chris Saines announced that evocative photography by Kiri Dalena, video by Lav Diaz and large-scale works by Maria Taniguchi and David Medalla are among the works by over 80 artists and artist groups from over 30 countries to feature in the exhibition.

“The increasingly interdisciplinary and mobile nature of contemporary art throughout Asia and the Pacific is a major conceptual thread of APT8. The exhibition pays particular attention to the body and its representation through performance, movement, and figuration,” said Saines.

Dalena’s “Erased slogans” photographic series will feature in APT8 and is based on archival photographs of protests prior to the declaration of Martial Law by former Filipino politician Ferdinand Marcos.

Diaz is heralded as the most active proponent of “slow” or durational cinema. Running between four to 12 hours, Diaz’s films describe the everyday with an epic scope. Intensely poetic and beautiful, Diaz’s works in the exhibit will address the revolution against Spanish colonial rule; the era of Martial Law under Filipino President Ferdinand Marcos (1965-1986); and the devastating aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Taniguchi’s large scale black “brick” paintings are comprised of thousands of rectangles in a consistent grid pattern—an organized structure commenting on the densely populated urban environment of Manila. The installation of these paintings gives them a sculptural quality, reinforcing their relationship to minimal art.

Medalla is recognized as a significant figure in the development of kinetic and participatory art. His work deconstructs the idea of sculpture as solid, timeless and monumental by creating objects and situations that can never be repeated and are continually changing form. In APT8, Medalla is represented by one of his signature works, Cloud Canyons No.25 1963/2015.

With a history of over 20 years and spanning seven exhibitions, the Asia Pacific Triennial is the gallery’s flagship contemporary art event, attracting over 2.4 million visitors who have embraced its ever evolving approach to presenting contemporary art from the region.

A free opening weekend of programs, special event and performances involving many of the exhibiting artists; APT8 Conference; APT8 Live and other ongoing events; APT8 Kids, including APT8 Kids on Tour in early 2016. APT8 will also be accompanied by a wide-ranging suite of publications, online resources and educational material.

For more information on the exhibition and artists visit www.qagoma.qld.gov.au.

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