The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6)
Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
December 5 – April 10 2010



The 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art was held from 5 December 2009 – 5 April 2010 and occupied the entire Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) as well as the iconic Watermall and adjoining galleries at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG). APT6 included the work of more than 100 artists from 25 countries, including collaborations and collectives, which reflect the diversity of practices across Asia, the Pacific and Australia.


APT6 had a number of specific focuses and thematic links while considering recent shifts in contemporary art in communities that had not been represented in the APT before, including works by artists from Tibet, North Korea (DPRK), Turkey and Iran, and from countries of the Mekong region such as Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma).


Reuben Paterson’s work for APT6 extends the customary Māori use of design, pattern, weaving and layering by using seductive new materials. Shimmer discs, diamantés and glitter dust inspire a sense of wonder while also introducing an element of texture to an otherwise two-dimensional tradition. Drawing on sources such as Māori culture and floral fabrics from the 1960s and 1970s, his judicious use of colour, patterning and composition recalls American modernism and Op art. Paterson’s originality lies in the eclectic combination of influences and styles that animate his paintings and parody notions of the Pacific as an exotic paradise. His use of contrasting patterns provides an optical pulse while sparking both nostalgic and celebratory responses. Paterson will make his most ambitious work to date for APT6, creating a visually spectacular set of canvases that shimmer with striking, intricate patterns. Using the formal structure of a kaleidoscope, Paterson’s work conveys an interrelated narrative. Its dark centre represents the beginning of the world in Māori cosmology, and as it moves outward, explosive patterns reference designs in his deceased father’s tie, 1980s New Zealand abstraction, and the colours in his grandmother’s favourite dress.


Gallery of Modern Art website