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posted March 10,2014 By Hilary Sharp
Head On by Cai Giu Qiang

On a little break from discussing homewares and interiors, I'm branching out into a little review on a superb exhibition I recently visited in Brisbane's, QAGOMA.  What was interesting about this one is that I took my two young boys along too.  It truly was an inspiring experience for all, and I highly recomend it.  I won't attempt a major art critic, but rather share our family experience of the art exhibition.

Cai Guo Qiang is one of the world's most innovative contemporary artists.  Originally from China, he now lives in New York.  Inspiration from his Falling Back to Earth exhibition was drawn from his travels to South East Queensland in 2011.  His large-scale interactive installations are engaging and dramatic.  There are 3 exhibitions in total, the first Heritage, features 99 replica animals from around the world, drinking together from a blue lake which is surrounded by pristine white sand.  The inspiration for this piece was provided by Queensland own paradise, Moreton Island.  


The image above is taken from the Goma Website

Despite the kid's grumbles, that they weren't allowed to walk on the sand, once they got the rules, they truly were enthralled.  My youngest, who's speech hasn't fully developed was picking out reindeer at the far end of the lake and saying "Santa" They studied each animal, asked questions to why they were drinking.  Each picked out their favourite animal and then we decided to pick out our favourite animal print.  It really struck me who awesome nature can be with the variety patterns it provides, and the Heritage installation is a feast for the eyes in terms of texture and pattern from the wild side!

Below is a picture of my awe struck son!

Childrens-wonder-goma-falling-back to-earth

The second installation, Eucalyptus features a huge tree resting horizontally and filling up the entire hall.  Here, ancient trees of Lamingon National Park in the Goldcoast hinterland inspired the artist.  This was wonderful, giving the kids a sense of scale, and studying the dramatic shapes the tree roots and branches from against a stark white background.


John McDonald  Image source above




The third installation of 99 artificial wolves leaping en masse into a glass wall is truly breathtaking and awe inspiring.  The realism of all these animals is phenomenal, enhanced by being able to walk around them.  Watching the boys look straight into the wolves eyes and circling the animals was amazing.



The final area was by far the kids favourite, the interactive art section designed for kids.  Through multi media it allows the children explore the artists works and create their own pieces in their style!   My kids particulary loved creating the gun powder art on the touch screens - I had to drag them out of there!


The exhibition continues until the 11th May 2014, if you are in Brisbane I highly reccomend you pop into GOMA for a look!  Below is a cool seat just outside library beside Goma!





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