There’s effectively just three works in Cai Guo-Qiang’s exhibition at Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). If you know that, you’ll be enthralled, amazed, overwhelmed. I was left with the feeling of “Is that it?”.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this gallery, I love their focus on works from the giant neighbours to Australia’s north. And I was thrilled by Cai Guo-Qiang‘s thoughtful – and Australian focused – works. I especially felt a strong connection with Head On 2006, after spending 3 months in Berlin, I could get a sense for the impact and idea behind this work.
I guess my let down was that I’d seen all the works before, through the great publicity machine. This lack of surprise, which you normally get from exhibitions, was missing. Often, my favourite works in shows are the unsung ones, the quiet ones that speak to me, that aren’t used in the PR machinery.
We travelled 1100km to see the exhibition, it’s well worth seeing but be prepared to be immersed in just three works (four including the tea room, five if you include the documents from Cai Guo-Qiang’s collaboration & process). Still for your $16.50 entry fee, make sure you take your time, breathe it all in and be prepared to catch other great exhibits in the gallery for free like Kathy Temin My Monument: White Forest 2008 which is magical and sad.