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THE 9TH ASIA PACIFIC TRIENNIAL OF CONTEMPORARY ART (APT9)

24 NOV 2018 28 APR 2019
QAGOMA | FREE

The hugely ambitious APT series brings significant art from across the Asia Pacific to Brisbane. Overflowing with colour and life, this free contemporary art exhibition presents a unique mix of creativity and cross-cultural insight.

Discover more than 400 artworks by over 80 individuals, collectives and groups that capture the energy of new art being created in Asia, the Pacific and Australia.

Alongside the exhibition are 3 thought-provoking film programs, 8 hands on activities for kids and 5 months of ongoing programs and special events, including daily guided tours.

We look forward to welcoming you to APT9

Underlying Stories

Generated image of the artwork: Nest Violeta

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Romuald Hazoumè, Nest Violeta, 2009

Romuald Hazoumè began fabricating masks from recycled waste in Benin, in western Africa, in the mid 1980s. These masks often feature plastic jerry cans, or bidons – used to smuggle petrol on the back of bikes from Nigeria to Benin – as well as discarded household appliances and fabric. Hazoumè’s ‘recycling’ refers to historical inequities in exchange involving Africa, Europe and the Americas – whether of slave labour, or of masks and other sculptural objects.

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Generated image of the artwork: Tromemanner - forgive us our trespass I-IV

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Bea Maddock, Tromemanner - forgive us our trespass I-IV, 1988-89

Tromemanner – forgive us our trespass I–IV explores an Indigenous connection to the land, evoking the current of time and the erasure of the human subject. The panoramic landscape is based on the Saltpan Plains in northern Tasmania, near Maddock’s studio. The word ‘Tromemanner’ translates as ‘my own country’ in the language of the Oyster Bay clan in Tasmania, and the words of the script are also Tasmanian Aboriginal words.

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Generated image of the artwork: Ghost net gear bag

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Reggie Sabatino, Ghost net gear bag, 2009

Torres Strait artist Reggie Sabatino has made these bags from ghost nets – large fishing nets abandoned at sea. The nets, originating mainly from South-East Asia, travel the world’s oceans indiscriminately entrapping and destroying everything in their path. They not only endanger threatened species, but also undersized and protected fish, rare turtles and large mammals. Many of the nets are carried by the tides and currents to the Gulf of Carpentaria and become trapped there until weather events deposit them on nearby coastlines.

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Generated image of the artwork: Left/Right Slide

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HÖLLER, Carsten; Left/Right Slide

[Cartsen Höller’s slides] are among the most vital and life-affirming artworks I know. Their purpose is to make people feel joy and happiness – which for an artwork is quite an ambition.(Dorothea von Hantelmann)(1) The experience of sliding is a very hard to describe and peculiar phenomenon. The best description I have found was in a book by Robert Caillois. He speaks about vertigo and describes sliding as a ‘voluptuous panic on an otherwise lucid mind’. (Carsten Höller)(2) Born in Brussels to German parents, Carsten HÖLLER's first vocation was as a biologist.

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AL-ANI, Jananne; Black Powder Peninsula

Jananne Al-Ani employs the aerial perspective and bleached, sepia-tones of World War One reconnaissance photography to reveal the imprint of conflict and occupation on the landscape. Her earlier films conveyed a sense of falling to earth, recalling, in eerie slow motion, the perspective of a missile nearing its target. In Black Powder Peninsula, our viewpoint rises above the landscape, lifting us ever further away from the ground and our own embodied experience. The artist observes:

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GREENO, Lola

Despite the ravages of colonisation, Tasmania’s Palawa people have made necklaces of lustrous strings of pearlescent shells in an unbroken cultural practice over thousands of years.

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Generated image of the artwork: Bed no. 2

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IMANI, Zahra

Through her figurative wall hangings, Zahra Imani depicts intimate exchanges between women and fleeting moments of private encounters. These small moments are presented on a large scale like the events depicted in grand history paintings. The artist is inspired by Persian miniature and European Renaissance painting traditions, which she then reinterprets and applies in a highly individual way using an appliqué technique.

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Generated image of the artwork: Kalben

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PAMBEGAN, Alair; Kalben

Alair Pambegan

Alair Pambegan is a Wik-Mungkan man who lives in the western Cape York community of Aurukun in north Queensland. He creates artworks based on the stories handed down from his father, the late, revered lawman, elder and artist Arthur Koo’ekka Pambegan Jr (1936–2010), who was custodian for significant ancestral story places and their associated narratives.

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SHARIF, Hassan

Hassan Sharif’s practice involved selecting and cutting or tying banal, everyday materials together to strip them of their original functions. In Cutting and tying no.2 2015, Sharif cuts rope into small pieces ensuring that it can no longer tie or bind. In this work, the artist contrasts the flawless, factory-made object with the irregularity of the handmade. The trace of a human hand can be seen in the way the wool has been unevenly wrapped around the rope, while the machine-made nature of the rope is evident in the precise and even twists of its woven strands.

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Generated image of the artwork: Naga Maedaw serpent

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SOE YU NWE

Soe Yu Nwe draws on the folklore and vernacular arts of her native country, as well as Buddhist and animistic practices. Growing up in Yangon, she completed her formal education in the United States, and in 2016 returned to Myanmar where she established a studio. Working with clay allows her to express her feelings of disconnection when away from home, and to explore elements of her culture and heritage.

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KAZIM, Ali

In precise detail, Ali Kazim captures the stillness of a deserted landscape or a sudden transformation as a storm tears through parched terrain. His paintings are based on the Punjab region of Pakistan – once home to a large part of the Indus Valley Civilisation and now scattered with ancient ruins. Kazim regularly visits these ruins, studying the mounds that form the contours of the landscape, and searching the sites of long-abandoned cities, which are partly exposed or still buried.

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KHALID, Aisha; Water has never feared the fire

Aisha Khalid draws on Persian and Islamic art, experimenting with scale, technique and subject matter to transform historic traditions into an art practice that is politically and socially relevant today. In her transformation of elaborate techniques, Khalid subtly comments on our contemporary world, particularly issues relating to gender and violence.

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Generated image of the artwork: 24:00:01

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GUPTA, Shilpa; 24.00.01

In her work, Shilpa Gupta uses a range of common technologies and draws on systems of language – from poetry to public signage – to reveal societal divisions relating to borders, religion, language and censorship. Gupta’s art leads us to inquire how we formulate emotional and intellectual positions in certain contexts, and how these inform definitions and perceptions.

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ARAEEN, Rasheed; Chaar Yaar I (four friends)

Rasheed Araeen began his career developing abstract and conceptual works in Karachi, Pakistan, in the 1950s, before moving to London in 1964, where he created some of the pioneering works of British Minimalism. Chaar Yaar I (four friends) 1968 is an example of these early works and captures Araeen’s explorations of symmetry and form. Made using readily available materials, they were conceived as interactive modular forms that could be rearranged, a feature that distinguished them from the hard-edged, static minimalist art of the time.

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BUSH, Kushana

Kushana Bush’s intricately detailed paintings borrow from different times and realities, and depict a range of human interactions and behaviours, from acts of devotion and torture to erotic couplings. Offering a somewhat dystopian view of human relations, Bush addresses universal themes – love and hate, revenge and salvation, devotion and rejection, good and evil – that resonate across cultures, geography and time.

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Generated image of the artwork: Bwebwerake (to grow, to evolve)

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Tungaru: The Kiribati Project

Tungaru: The Kiribati Project is an ongoing project initiated by Aotearoa New Zealand-born artist Chris Charteris in 2012. Tungaru is the original name given to the coral atolls comprising Kiribati. One of the meanings of Tungaru is ‘gathering together in a joyous kind of way’.

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Generated image of the artwork: Dance series: Transformation 4

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Women's Wealth

Throughout the Pacific, contemporary expressions of customary practice – from weaving and pottery to performance – are thriving alongside explorations of new media and technology. The Women’s Wealth project explores the significance of these practices in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, and the nearby islands of Choiseul Province and the Shortland Islands in the Solomon Archipelago.

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Tracy Moffatt, Spirit landscapes, 2013

Coming home makes us see familiar things anew. After 12 years in New York, Tracey Moffatt moved back to Australia in 2010, an experience that informs her most recent body of work, ‘Spirit landscapes’ 2013. Comprising five photographic series and a digital frame, these works address how place and memory intermingle.

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Generated image of the artwork: When it shook, the earth stood still (After Pirous)

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ALBAIQUNI, Zico; When it shook, the earth stood still...

Zico Albaiquni’s canvases are rich with references and juxtapositions. He examines Indonesian painting traditions and broader art histories, with a particular interest in how the Indonesian landscape has been treated and commodified throughout history. Underpinning these investigations is the Indonesian concept of lukisan (roughly translating as ‘painting’) and its ethnic purpose, tied as it is to ritual, exchange, and the creation of sacred objects. Albaiquni’s distinct palette arises from pigment combinations drawn from the colonial painting genre of Mooi Indie (‘beautiful Indies’).

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ALFRAJI, Sadik Kwaish; Once Upon A Time... Hadiqat Al Umma

As a child, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji would visit the small public gardens of Hadiqat Al Umma (the ‘Nation’s Park’) in Baghdad with his father, and marvel at the plants, fountains and public artworks. In response to the death of his father and the artist’s return to Iraq after 20 years abroad, Alfraji began the multi-part project ‘Once Upon a Time’ in 2010. Taking the gardens as its inspiration, Once Upon a Time… Hadiqat Al Umma 2017 revives his childhood experiences in this immersive animation made from over 14 000 charcoal drawings, displayed across nine projections.

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CHABET, Roberto

At the time of his death in 2013, Roberto Chabet was widely acknowledged as the founding figure of Philippine conceptual art. Chabet’s signature material for his installations and sculptures was plywood, a ubiquitous material in Manila – makeshift shelters in the poorest districts are constructed from plywood, and it symbolised the city’s reconstruction after it experienced heavy bombing during World War Two. He also explored the ocean and seafaring as ongoing subjects in his work, which allowed him to address histories of trade and colonialism in the Asia Pacific region.

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Generated image of the artwork: Revisiting his Ego's grave (a conversation with Roberto Villanueva)

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DE GUIA, Kawayan; A Chronicle of land and people of the Cordilleras

Kawayan de Guia was raised in the Philippines’s mountainous Cordillera region in Baguio City, an important alternative art centre of the renowned Baguio Arts Guild in the late 1980s. Baguio City, known for its pine trees and houses that cling precariously to hilltops, is a unique melting pot, where ancient cultures, American consumerism and cosmopolitan, European influences coexist. Many of Baguio’s contradictions are embodied in de Guia’s versatile practice, in particular, his ‘wallbound’ works that are assemblages of painting, drawing and found objects.

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Erub/Lifou Project; Sea Journeys: people without borders

In 1871, English and Kanak missionaries sailed from Lifou, an island in New Caledonia, to Erub (Darnley Island) in the Torres Strait, to introduce Christianity. Many stayed, but it was not until 2011 that their descendants met on Erub to explore their common heritage and long-felt bonds.

A group of Erub artists – masters in charcoal drawing – travelled to Lifou in 2013 for a joint art project where the artists traced each other’s outlines in charcoal on long lengths of paper. The artists then recorded visual responses to their shared histories, a process expanded on for APT9.

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GARCIA, Nona

Nona Garcia

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NURVISTA, Elia; Sucker Zucker

In her artworks, Elia Nurvista explores issues of economics, labour, politics, culture and gender through the production and consumption of food. In Sucker Zucker 2018, the theme is sugar – large, crystalline sculptures in bright, jewel-like colours appear like faceted and translucent clusters of diamonds. The similarities between the two are more than physical; both material extractions are associated with slavery and exploitation. Historically, the sugar industry precipitated some of the largest enforced migrations in the world, affecting Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

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YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES; CRUCIFIED TVS – NOT A PRAYER IN HEAVEN

YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES
Established 1999, Seoul, South Korea
Works in Seoul

Who causes fear? Who watches on? The answer is ‘I’, ‘YOU’ and ‘WE’, according to YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES.

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SULTANA, Ayesha

Ayesha Sultana translates her observations into abstract forms through meticulous drawings and sculptures. Her graphite drawings involve numerous applications of soft lead, using sticks, powder and brushes on layers of paper to develop seductive metallic textures. The thickly rendered sheets are then carefully cut, folded and fixed into sculptural compositions, creating rich combinations of shape, depth and subtle shifts in tone. With a contrast between hand-drawn surfaces and seemingly rigid sculptural shapes, these works explore the interplay between two- and three-dimensional forms.

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WASIF, Munem; Kheyal

Munem Wasif’s Kheyal 2015–18 follows four characters through the streets of Old Dhaka in Bangladesh. The title is derived from the Arabic word ‘Khyal’ or ‘Khayal’, meaning fiction or imagination, and the film captures the enigmatic environments and unique identities inhabiting the historic city. Living amid the grandeur of neglected Mughal architecture are dynamic social groups and spontaneous neighbourhoods that inhabit spaces around courtyards, narrow lanes and bustling bazaars.

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SIONG, Tcheu

Tcheu Siong is a Hmoob Dawb (White Hmong) woman from Laos. Textiles form an intrinsic part of Hmong ceremonial custom, alongside oral tradition, poetry and mythological beliefs, while embroidery, appliqué and piecework contain keys to sacred symbols. Siong moved from the mountains in northern Laos to the city of Luang Prabang in 1996, where, like many Hmong women, she made traditional embroidery to sell in tourist markets.

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Generated image of the artwork: The Imbroglio Tropical Paradise

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ALBAIQUNI, Zico

Zico Albaiquni’s paintings include a wide range of references and juxtapositions, examining Indonesian painting traditions and broader art histories, with a particular interest in how the Indonesian landscape has been treated and commodified throughout history. Underpinning these investigations is the Indonesian concept of lukisan (roughly translating as ‘painting’) and its ethnic ties to ritual, exchange and the creation of sacred objects.

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TAUMOEPEAU, Latai; Dark Continent (performance documentation)

Latai Taumoepeau describes herself as a punake, a Tongan term describing performance artists, such as dancers, who use their body as their medium. Dark Continent 2015 is a set of still photographs that documents Taumoepeau over a period of 48 hours, as she slowly stretched and contorted her body into poses that enabled her to apply artificial colouring solution to her skin, using a small electric compression gun. Performed in Sydney, the work explores prevailing ideas of the Australian national identity – iconic sun-bronzed, beach-goers of European heritage.

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GUNANTUNA (Tolai people) of East New Britain; Gunantuna

Designed to mesmerise viewers in ceremony, these majestic rings, known as Tutana, were created by the Gunantuna (Tolai people) of East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The spectacular rings are banks – which are legal tender in East New Britain, alongside the government-issued currency of the PNG kina – and are comprised of shell-encrusted cane strips, known as Diwarra or Tabu.

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BOUGAINVILLE; Baskets

Throughout the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, baskets are not only used for carrying and storing everyday goods, they are also repositories of time, labour, knowledge and relationships. Unique basket designs represent links to specific geographies, histories and cultures, as well as to family relationships. Created from fibres and vines gathered from forests and gardens, baskets communicate information about particular environments and ways of living. Baskets also retain the shape of raw materials and embody the trace of movements involved in their construction.

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RAAD, Iman; Days of bliss and woe

A riot of colour and movement, Iman Raad's artworks advocate for ornamentation and decoration in art and architecture. His paintings, drawings, murals and banners reconfigure and reimagine influences from 'glitch' aesthetics, Persian miniature painting, Iranian folk art and Pakistani truck painting. Raad's practice is informed by a belief in the centrality of vernacular art forms to the wider history of art.

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AL QADIRI, Monira; Diver

Growing up in Kuwait on the Persian Gulf, Monira Al Qadiri saw many monuments to the pearling industry; one of the most recognisable was the Lulu Roundabout in neighbouring Bahrain.1 The Persian Gulf coastline has a long history of pearling, and in the 1800s, it was a central driver of the region’s economy, until it was supplanted by the oil industry in the mid 1900s. By the 1980s, the pearling industry had all but disappeared, with its technology and culture relegated to museums.

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JONES, Jonathan; untitled (giran)

Jonathan Jones
in collaboration with Dr Uncle Stan Grant Snr AM

Understanding wind is an important part of understanding country. Winds bring change, knowledge and new ideas to those prepared to listen.

Jonathan Jones

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RARRU, Margaret; GANALMIRRIWUY, Helen;

Mindirr

Mindirr are ancient basket forms said to be carried by the ancestral Djan’kawu sisters on their creative journeys across Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory. Margaret Rarru and Helen Ganalmirriwuy’s mindirr are made in the classical conical shape; however, in a contemporary take on the form, the women have dyed the twined pandanus leaves a dense charcoal–black, highlighing subtle gradations of colour and emphasising irregular surface patterns reflecting the handmade process.
 
As Margaret Rarru has stated:

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VUTH, Lyno; House – Spirit

The White Building stood in the heart of Phnom Penh, until its controversial demolition in 2017. Inaugurated in 1963 during Cambodia’s post-independence era, the building was evacuated during the Khmer Rouge era (1975–79), but subsequently became a vibrant hub for artists, musicians, performers and craftspeople, as well as an internationally renowned example of modern South-East Asian architecture.

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HAVINI, Taloi; Habitat

Habitat 2018 is a multichannel video installation that critically addresses the representation of landscape and conflicting interests in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The earliest iterations of this series, entitled Habitat: Konawiru 2016 and Habitat 2017, used dramatic image sequencing as part of large-scale projections, together with immersive surround sound.

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NAKAS CLAN; A'Pua

Geometric designs in red and black embroidery on the Sinsu identify the wearer’s clan. The most ornately decorated capes are known as A’Pua and are worn by the three highest ranking clan chiefs, including the queen. Triangular designs in red and black found along the top of a chief’s cape are known as Kaliana. Sinsu without the Kaliana can be worn by A Hatutu (second in line).

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ASIKE, Kiria; Kakoto

Kakoto capes feature small rectangles of colour woven into strips of white pandanus. Chiefs from the Naboin and Nakas clans wear capes decorated with red squares, while those marked with red and black are reserved for chiefs of the Nakaripa clan. Sasana capes are decorated with bold strips of alternating white and red-dyed pandanus.

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ASIKE, Kiria; Tulbus

Worn during women’s ceremony, Tulbus are plain Tuhu capes that protect the wearer from harmful spirits. Two Tulbus worn together provide protection from the three sides that cannot be directly observed by the wearer . Also used as shelter from the sun and rain, women wear these unmarked Tuhu when they work in the garden.

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Generated image of the artwork: Red Flower: The Women of Okinawa

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ISHIKAWA, Mao; Red Flower: The Women of Okinawa

In April 1975, wondering how to photograph an Okinawa full of US military bases, Mao Ishikawa decided to focus on American soldiers, and looked for work at bar where they came and went. She took a job in a bar near Kadena Air Base, in the Miyagi district of Okinawa City, that catered to African–American personnel at a time of unofficial segregation. She later worked at a similar business in Kin Town, home to the US Marine Corps base Camp Hansen.

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Generated image of the artwork: A Port Town Elegy

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ISHIKAWA, Mao; A Port Town Elegy

By 1983, Mao Ishikawa was running a bar near Aja-Shinko, a port area of Okinawa’s capital city, Naha. Through the Okinawan language of Uchinaaguchi, she became close with the heavy-drinking local anglers and dockworkers who frequented the establishment. Their rough, precarious lives became the subject of her second book, A Port Town Elegy (1990). Shot between 1983 and 1986, Ishikawa’s photographs are portraits of figures on the margins of Japanese society as they work, drink and fight.

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Generated image of the artwork: Breath or Echo

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MOHRI, Yuko; Breath or Echo

Yuko Mohri’s installation Breath or Echo 2017 features a subtle soundscape of electronic pulses and delicate percussion over which automatic pianos play elegant compositions. It is inspired by the vast landscape of Japan’s northernmost island Hokkaido and the work of celebrated Ainu sculptor Sunazawa Bikky (1931–89). Mohri’s installation features a recording of the poem Bikky composed to accompany Four Winds 1986, an outdoor sculpture he designed to decay with the elements.

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GENDE, Simon

Papua New Guinean artist Simon Gende is known for his paintings that provide often humorous and insightful commentary on society, religion, history and contemporary events. His artworks on display in APT9 were inspired by a week-long visit to Brisbane in 2017, during which time he was introduced to the work of Indigenous Australian artists Vincent Namatjira and his late grandfather Albert Namatjira (1902–59). On this trip, Gende also researched Papua New Guinea’s history using the State Library of Queensland’s archives, and ventured into Brisbane’s nightlife.

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