Defining Moments: First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1993

Mon 24 Aug 2020

This is a past program.
Available as video and podcast

Lecture Topic: First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1993

Speaker: Doug Hall AM

After two regional gallery directorships in Victoria, Doug Hall arrived in Brisbane in April 1987 and Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s premiership was on the rocks – the Fitzgerald Inquiry would begin its hearings in July. When Wayne Goss won the election in 1989 he took on the role as Premier and Minister for the Arts. This is the climate in which the Asia Pacific Triennial was developed. The gallery was allowed a vast organisational, curatorial and intellectual change.

The APT was central to an institutional and geo-cultural realignment, one which shaped the advocacy for building the Gallery of Modern Art. This lecture presents the unique circumstances of the APT and how it was conceived as inseparable from an art museum’s conduct, from collections development and the reach of other institutional and programming activity.

Doug Hall AM was director, Queensland Art GalleryǀGOMA, Brisbane from 1987 to 2007. The first Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art was held in 1993. He conceived the idea for the Gallery of Modern Art and oversaw its development and opening in December 2006. He was Commissioner for the Australian exhibitions at the Venice Biennales in 2009 and 2011. He returned to Melbourne in 2010 and later appointed Associate Professor and Honorary Fellow, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne. He was an inaugural member of the Asia Art Council, Guggenheim Museum, New York, and has served as a board member of the Australian Japan Foundation and the Australia Thailand Institute. His book Present Tense was published by Black Inc in 2019.


ACCA’s Lecture Series, Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999, will take a deeper look at the moments that have shaped Australian art since 1968. In the second year of this two-year series, seven more guest lecturers will analyse the game changers in Australian art, addressing key contemporary art exhibitions staged over the last three decades of the twentieth century and reflecting on the ways these exhibitions shaped art history and contemporary Australian culture more broadly.

Ambitious, contested, polemical, genre-defining and genre-defying, contemporary art exhibitions have shaped and transformed the cultural landscape, along with our understanding of what constitutes art itself. This program traces the legacies of artists and curators, addresses the critical reception of selected significant projects, and reflects on a wide range of exhibitions and formats; from artist run initiatives to institutions, as well as interventions in public space and remote communities.

This two-year series is presented in association with Abercrombie & Kent and Research Partner, Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at The University of Melbourne and supported by Art Guide Australia, The Saturday Paper, Triple R, The Melbourne Gin Company, Capi and the City of Melbourne.


As ACCA is currently closed to support public health measures we will be recording our entire 2020 season and releasing all lectures online as freely available videos and podcasts on ACCA’s website and promoted across our social media channels.

A bespoke cocktail recipe created by The Melbourne Gin Company will be available alongside each lecture. We encourage you to make the cocktail with us.


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