Skip to main content

Search artworks

Exhibition story

A man painted yellow, from head to toe, walks the streets of Brisbane, carrying a heart.

It’s fitting to mark the tenth iteration of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT) with a look back at the history of this incredible cultural endeavour. The APT has introduced Queensland to some of the most vital contemporary artists and compelling works of art from our part of the world and has been integral to the Gallery’s growth since the first Triennial. We strive to expand our horizons and transparently represent the dynamic visual art milieu within which Australia finds itself.

After 28 years, ten exhibitions and verging on four million visitors, the APT continues to differentiate itself from other biennials and triennials and is anticipated both locally and globally. Since 1993, it has been staged here, in our galleries, not dispersed across the city as most are. The series is based on field research and is purpose-driven: we have travelled, commissioned and acquired work from the start. It has enabled us to assemble an unparalleled network of artists, communities, co-curators, institutions and interlocutors. In fact, some of the world’s most influential artists stand among its number, many of them little known before their participation in an APT. Moreover, the exhibition determinedly honours contemporary art, and gives equal weight to customary and community-based practices.

While it is impossible to encapsulate everything that the Triennial has achieved over almost three decades, we hope this mini retrospective gives a snapshot of the Gallery’s ever innovative and always surprising series.


Chris Saines CNZM | Director


This digital story, first published in Artlines 1-2022, is based on edited excerpts from texts (published in the Gallery’s Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art exhibition catalogues 1–9) by former director Doug Hall AM, former deputy director Dr Caroline Turner AM, former director Tony Ellwood AM, former Asian and Pacific Art curatorial manager and acting director Suhanya Raffel, and QAGOMA Director Chris Saines CNZM, with an introduction by Chris Saines.