International art coup falls to earth at GOMA

25 Nov 2013 3:16 PMJann Stuckey

Friday, November 22, 2013

One of the stars of the international art world, Cai Guo-Qiang, will enjoy his first Australian solo exhibition when Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth opens at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) tomorrow.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said the exhibition, with installations including a 31-metre gum tree suspended on its side and a pack of leaping wolves, demonstrates the Government’s commitment to the arts.

“Through the Newman Government’s Arts for all Queenslanders policy we are ensuring the people of this great state have cultural experiences that rival anywhere in the world,” Mr Walker said.

“One of our promises was to enhance Queensland’s growing reputation as a destination to appreciate innovative, exciting and inspiring art work. Cai and his extraordinary exhibition is the perfect embodiment of that.”

“This spectacular exhibition will be another drawcard and builds on the success we have had to date.”

Mr Walker said the exhibition presented the major installations in addition to a tea pavilion, a chronological display of the artist’s career, an interactive children’s exhibition and a conceptual performance work.

“The installations include two works commissioned by the Gallery especially for this exhibition which were inspired by the natural beauty of Queensland,” he said.

Heritage 2013, a stunning installation of 99 life-like animal sculptures gathered around a watering hole, is inspired by the artist’s visit to Stradbroke Island. Thanks to the support from one of Queensland’s most generous benefactors, Win Schubert, Heritage will be acquired for the QAGOMA Collection.

“The magnificent work, Eucalyptus 2013, is a 31-metre gum tree, and one of Cai’s most well-known works,the 99 leaping replica wolves of Head On 2006, is presented in Australia for the first time.”

Tourism and Major Events Minister Jann Stuckey said the exhibition was a unique cultural experience that further enhances Brisbane’s reputation as a leader in innovation and the arts.

“It is an incredible coup for Queensland to have secured Cai Guo-Qiang’s first solo exhibition to Australia, providing an exclusive opportunity for visitors to see his dramatic and inspiring works,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Cultural tourism as an important market and securing exclusive exhibitions such as this strengthen Brisbane’s reputation as a premier arts and cultural destination.

“It will provide a further boost to the state’s tourism industry which had suffered ongoing neglect under Labor before being revived by the Newman Government.

“Tourism is one of the four pillars of the economy and this exhibition will help fulfil our election commitment to double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.”

QAGOMA Director Chris Saines said Falling Back to Earth was the most ambitious single artist project ever staged by the Gallery, and would be complemented by a free Children’s Art Centre project and daily tea ceremonies inside the exhibition space.

“We are extremely proud to be presenting this ambitious and immersive exhibition to the people of Queensland,” Mr Saines said.

The exhibition is presented by Tourism and Events Queensland. Santos GLNG Project is Presenting Sponsor; Audi is Principal Sponsor and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation is Principal Benefactor.
Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth is exclusively at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from 23 November 2013 to 11 May 2014. Tickets are on-sale now via ( ). 

[ENDS] 22 November, 2013