From December 2017 through to April 15th, 2018, Melburnians and visitors alike have been flocking to the exhibits which make up the thought provoking and creatively inspiring Triennial exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) in Melbourne.
This FREE (yes, you read that right!) exhibit consists of over 100 artists and designers, from 32 countries across the globe. What results, is the “world’s best art and design across cultures, scales, geographies and perspectives” that art lovers have ever seen. Comprised of cutting edge technologies, architecture, animation, performance, video, painting, drawing, fashion design, tapestry and sculpture – there is truly something here for everyone.
As a regular visitor to the NGV…I can attest to being absolutely in love with everything on offer here – and how sad I am that it is leaving.
There is so much to see here. But if you plan on making it over there for the last month of the exhibit, be sure not to miss out on any of the following…they will be the highlight of your visit (and make you want to return again before it leaves!)
Mass – Ron Mueck
For more than two decades, Ron Mueck has been creating sculptures that have wowed audiences. In 2017, Mass has been his largest work so far.
Consisting of 100 large-scale sculptures of the human skull (big enough to be the size of a 6 foot human); Mueck looks at the theme of ‘mortality’, taking inspiration from the Paris Catacombs, as well as the mass graves which resulted from the atrocities of Cambodia, Rwanda, Srebrenica and Iraq.
As you can see, this is definitely one of the most memorable and moving pieces within the Triennial exhibition.
Fifty Manga Chairs & Fifty Trace Sconce Lights – Nendo
In what seems like a pretty standard museum set up, this exhibit is a real treat.
If you are a fan of Manga, Fifty Manga Chairs really makes you appreciate the design elements that go into Manga; including the lines depicting movement, speech bubbles, and symbols – all to help one visualise emotion.
The view of the chairs as you enter the gallery are very interesting to look at; but as you turn around and face the other side of the gallery, the lights on the wall for Fifty Trace Sconce Lights really makes the exhibit come together even more.
‘Past’ Vespers – Neri Oxman
One of the most mesmerising exhibits at Triennial is ‘Past’. This exhibit looks at origins, exploring life through the lens of death.
Taking inspiration from ancient masks – which is very clear when looking at them, the exhibit uses 3D printing in a bid to blur human features and machine together. It is quite alien to look at with such amazing pieces of art existing here because of it.
Santa Cruz River – Alexandra Kehayoglou
One of Triennial’s most interactive exhibits is one where visitors can get right involved with it – literally.
Through the use of wool rugs, and a merging of site analysis, drone footage and photography, Santa Cruz River is such a fun inclusion – but one which has so much depth behind its creation.
This design depicts the proposed site of two major hydoelectricity dams on the Santa Cruz River in Argentina, which remains the last free flowing wild river in the country. Whilst, there is no actual political agenda behind this piece, there is an undertone however about the tensions within globalisation; in particular those surrounding the negotiations between the Argentine and Chinese governments.
Visitors can lay on the carpet and see the artwork through the mirror above. Many a photo has been taken here as a result…but who can blame them? It looks really cool.
Legend – Guo Pei
Chinese born fashion designer Guo Pei’s 2017 spring/summer couture show Legend is on show at Triennel. As the main fashion element in the exhibit, these gowns are truly incredible masterpieces to view. Pei gained inspiration from a variety of places: medieval architecture, Rococo paintings, textile traditions and Marie Antoinette.
I personally just love how I feel when looking at them.
Moving Creates Vortices & Vortices Create Movement – Teamlab
The designers at Teamlab offer a digital installation which has been inspired by human, digital and spatial relationships.
As visitors enter, the movement of people inside is tracked by sensors that via computer create projections. Thus, a visual vortex of sorts is created consisting of digital particles, expressing the movements of each person as they move within the space.
Untitled – Pae White
Inspired by the graphic design of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics – with a font which saw strong black and white parallel lines alongside the Olympic Rings; the viewer finds themselves walking among a maze of bright threads and mirrors, becoming part of the installation as they walk through it.
The best time to be inside here is just before closing, as there are less people to have to steer around as everyone takes their photos.
Eternity Series – Xu Zhen
Zhen’s works often take the form of immense sculptural installations, which “address Eastern and Western assumptions about Chinese art and the global art market.”
For Triennial, Zhen has produced the quite monumental Eternity Buddha in Nirvana the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcissus Lying, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton.
Through this, Zhen combines famous classic Western and Buddha sculptures upon a reclining Buddha from the High Tang Dynasty as their base – which is one of the first artworks visitors see upon their arrival.
Flower Obsession – Yayoi Kusama
Flower Obsession re-creates a furnished domestic space – bedroom, kitchen, lounge, bathroom etc. This large-scale installation invites the viewer inside – not only to see the work, but furthermore to participate in it by placing a flower sticker motif down on any surface as they walk through.
Kusama’s vibrant installation explores the concept of infinite; with a reference to hallucinations she had growing up which defined her very style as a result. Kusama started the installation decorating the dining table and floral tablecloth – which as the weeks progress will obliterate the transform the space into a stunningly spectacular environment.
Flower Obsession is the main highlight at Triennial – but the wait to get inside is not very long. Thanks to Instagram, this one exhibit has brought more people inside than any other and I can see why. It’s amazing to explore and enjoy.
As you can see, Triennial is an amazing showcase of fun and art appreciation – that the entire family can enjoy. These are just my favourites, but with so much to see, a day spent here is well worth it.
NGV Triennial closes on April 15th, 2018.
What an amazing art exhibition — and it’s all free?! I so loved the Santa Cruz River exhibit, and the interaction going on there. So cool you can lay on it and see yourself in the ceiling mirrors! You’re right — it makes for a great photo! Your photos are beautiful and inspiring me to go see some amazing art!
Now these types of art galleries is what I am all about. How interactive and visual. I like the looks of the Santa Cruz River and the Flower room. Melbourne is too cool.
What an amazing exhibition, I wish I was able to visit it. I thought the death masks were beautiful and a really interesting use of 3D printing
I am so super glad you shared this post! I am travelling to Melb in a few weeks and the show has its last weekend when I am there. Loved your images of the Flower Obsession.
All of these pieces look incredible! I’m usually not a huge fan of modern art, but there are at least a handful here that I’d love to see in person. The digital one that reacts to human movement sounds fascinating. I’d probably be able to spend hours there.
The “Flower Obsession” exhibition is SO COOL! What a perfect Instagram moment 😉 I also really like the photos from “Past” – what an interesting concept and the masks/sculptures just suck me right in!
I love contemporary art! But the instagram girl in me wants to take a selfie in that flower room! I went to school for art and installation art are my favorite pieces because of the transformation of spaces. So the flower room looks like an amazing place to be in!
What a cool event! I can’t believe it is free. The Eternity Series really gave me a shock. Just beautiful. Thank you!
Some of these look, well, kind of crazy.. But also very interesting. Thank you for the tip 🙂
How fascinating! I had no idea this exhibit was a regular feature in Melbourne – something to keep in mind in the future. Whilst I think all of the pieces you have discussed here, ‘Past’ is a really interesting concept – examining evolution and the experience of life through death. Fascinating!
Wow, this looks like a perfect place to visit in Australia. Interpreting mortality through human skulls or obsession with flowers – what a range of subjects they cover. Lovely.
This sounds like a great event with lots of cools things to see and do! That Santa Cruz River is a very interesting project and that flower room…I’m already obsessed! Ahaha