Defining Moments: The First Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, 1993 with Doug Hall

Doug Hall AM discusses the development and influence of the first Asia Pacific Triennial (APT) of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane in 1993 as part of ACCA’s lecture series Defining Moments: Australian Exhibition Histories 1968–1999.

After two regional gallery directorships in Victoria, Doug Hall AM 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.

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.

Video produced by Gatherer Media.