When we visit Brisbane we always visit GOMA – the Gallery of Modern Art – which I consider to be one of the must-do attractions in Brisbane, with or without kids. Their latest special exhibition is Cai Guo Qiang: Falling Back to Earth. The exhibition requires an entry fee and only three large rooms, but they are very dramatic works from which invite more time spent exploring the finer details.
Cai Guo Qiang is a Chinese artist and this exhibition is his first solo exhibition in Australia and a GOMA exclusive. The centrepiece and ‘wow’ piece of the exhibition is Heritage 2013. The work features 99 replicas of animals from around the world, gathered together to drink from a blue lake surrounded by white sand. Both predators and prey drink together side-by-side, raising questions about how humans and animals should or can live together in harmony.
Head On 2006 is a striking installation of 99 lifelike wolves leaping into a glass wall which was originally made for Deutsche Bank to make a statement about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Apparently at the Berlin Guggenheim it was shown with the wall as being invisible, which I think would have made it a more arresting piece.
The third work is Eucalyptus 2013 is a huge tree which was uprooted to make way for urban development in one of Brisbane’s newest outer suburbs, Springfield. It’s a response to the ancient trees of Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterland. Seeing this beautiful, dead tree lying on its side in a pristine gallery was a thought-provoking testament to the effect of population growth and the rate of development.
While the exhibition is kid-friendly purely because the installations are so large and fantastical, in the Children’s Art Gallery there are free interactive activities which relate back to the Cai Guo Qiang: Falling Back to Earth exhibition. Called ‘Let’s Create an Exhibition with a Boy Named Cai‘ , it is an interactive artist project where children can make and display a paper boat, tree or animal, create gunpowder drawings and explosion events on the touch screen and watch a short animated film about the art and adventures of Cai Guo-Qiang.
The artist’s story, Let’s Create an Exhibition with a Boy Named Cai, is also an illustrated story book.
Cai Guo Qiang: Falling Back to Earth, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct South Bank, Brisbane
23 November 2013 – 14 May 2014
Gallery 10.00am – 5.00pm (closed Christmas day).
Adult $15 | Season Adult $45
Season Concession (not valid for groups) $36
Member $11† | Season Member $33†
Secondary Student $8
Children (12 years and under) FREE
Family (1–2 adults and children aged 13–17) $38
Concession/Group 10+ $12
General gallery entry is free.