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Cai Guo-Qiang falls back to Earth at GOMA, Australia

Cai Guo-Qiang
China b.1957
Head On 2006
99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall. Wolves: gauze, resin, and hide
Dimensions variable
Deutsche Bank Collection, commissioned by Deutsche Bank AG Photograph: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Cai Guo-Qiang China b.1957 Head On 2006 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall. Wolves: gauze, resin, and hide Dimensions variable Deutsche Bank Collection, commissioned by Deutsche Bank AG Photograph: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Cai Guo-Qiang China b.1957 Heritage (detail) 2013 99 life-sized replicas of animals, water, sand, drip mechanism Installed dimensions variable Commissioned for the exhibition ‘Falling Back to Earth’, 2013. Purchased 2013 with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation Collection: Queensland Art Gallery Photograph: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Cai Guo-Qiang China b.1957 Eucalyptus 2013 Spotted gum (Corymbia maculata), wooden stools, paper and pencils Length: 3150cm (approx.) Commissioned for the exhibition ‘Falling Back to Earth’, 2013 Photograph: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Visitors sampling Fujian Tie Guan Yin tea in Cai Guo-Qiang’s installation Tea Pavilion, in the exhibition ‘Falling Back to Earth’ at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2013 Photograph: Yuyu Chen, courtesy Cai Studio.
Cai Guo-Qiang in front of installation Eucalyptus at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2013.
Photograph: Yuyu Chen, courtesy Cai Studio.
Cai Guo-Qiang in front of installation Eucalyptus at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2013. Photograph: Yuyu Chen, courtesy Cai Studio.
         
Thought-provoking and spectacular new installations inspired by Queensland landscapes will premiere in the first Australian solo exhibition of leading international contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang, opening tomorrow at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).
'Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth', presented by Tourism and Events Queensland and Santos GLNG Project and on display from November 23 to May 11, 2014, builds on a longstanding working relationship between the artist and the Gallery, which dates back to Cai's participation in the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibitions in 1996 and 1999.
For the first time ever, all 3,000 square metres of GOMA's ground floor will be dedicated to an exhibition of work by a single living artist. 'Falling Back to Earth' features installations of 99 replicas of animals drinking from a pristine lake; 99 wolves leaping en masse and colliding with a glass wall; a suspended 31-metre eucalyptus tree, creating a space for contemplation; and a tea pavilion where visitors can pause, drink tea, and find out more about the artist and the exhibition. There will also be an interactive installation for children and a chronological display of the artist's career, with photographs, ephemera, and original art works selected by the artist.
Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said Cai Guo-Qiang's ground-breaking practice over 25 years used unexpected materials to create transformative event-based and social projects.
'This exhibition is a significant evolution for one of today's most compelling and highly respected global artists, realised with a level of ambition unprecedented for an Australian art museum,' Mr Saines said.
Exhibition curator Russell Storer, Curatorial Manager of Asian and Pacific Art, QAGOMA, said the new commissions drew on the striking beauty of Queensland landscapes and the exquisite imagery in historical Chinese painting and poetry, to express concerns regarding the ecological and social issues of our time.
The first single artwork to take up the entire 1,100m2 of GOMA's largest gallery space, Heritage presents animals drinking from a lake filled with 170 tonnes of water, which is viewable from a walkway that circles the entire installation.
The Gallery will acquire Heritage thanks to a generous contribution from benefactor Win Schubert, through the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation with the assistance of the QAGOMA Foundation.
In the free interactive installation, Let's Create an Exhibition with a Boy Named Cai 2013, Cai Guo-Qiang and the QAGOMA Children's Art Centre invite children to participate, using the artist's working methods to create their own exhibition through hands-on and multimedia activities, which include an online 'gunpowder drawing' making program. An illustrated storybook written by the artist and created in collaboration with the Children's Art Centre will be available from the QAGOMA Store.
The Tea Pavilion in the River Room invites visitors to pause, rest and reflect on the works in the exhibition. Visitors can sample Tie Guan Yin tea from Cai's home province of Fujian and watch a documentary created especially for 'Falling Back to Earth' to learn more about the processes behind the exhibition.
Trevor Brown, Vice President Queensland of exhibition Presenting Sponsor Santos GLNG, said it was exciting for Queensland to host new work by such an esteemed and world-renowned artist.
The exhibition is fully documented in a major publication featuring photography of the new works and essays from leading curators, as well as reflections from Cai Guo-Qiang on his collaboration with children throughout his career.

 

 

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