NGV Triennial – Melbourne

NGV Triennial

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

15 December 2017 – 15 April 2018

Featuring the work of over 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, the NGV Triennial surveys the world of art and design, across cultures, scales, geographies and perspectives.


A free exhibition, the NGV Triennial is a celebration of contemporary art and design practice that traverses all four levels of NGV International, as well as offering a rich array of programs.


The NGV Triennial explores cutting edge technologies, architecture, animation, performance, film, painting, drawing, fashion design, tapestry and sculpture. Visitors have an opportunity to look at the world and its past, present and future through the eyes of some of the most creative minds working today.

Yayoi Kusama – Flower obsession 2017

Japan born 1929

My favorite Yayoi Kusama’s work revisits the origins of Kusama’s art which she traces back to her childhood. As she describes, ‘One day, after gazing at a pattern of red flowers on the tablecloth, I looked up to see that the ceiling, the windows, and the columns seemed to be plastered with the same red floral pattern. I saw the entire room, my entire body, and the entire universe covered with red flowers, and in that instant my soul was obliterated … This was not an illusion but reality itself’.



Flower obsession, 2017, recreates a furnished domestic space. Visitors are invited to apply red flower motifs to the walls, furniture and objects. Over the duration of the exhibition, the proliferation of flowers will gradually cover all surfaces, ‘obliterating’ and transforming the space into a spectacular environment.


 Ron Mueck – Mass 2016–2017

Australia born 1958, works in England 1986–


Mass is also a sombre study of mortality, and comprising 100 individual human skulls it calls to mind iconic images of massed remains in the Paris catacombs as well as the documentation of contemporary human atrocities in Cambodia, Rwanda, Srebrenica and Iraq. The skull has been a potent symbol within the art of virtually all cultures and religions, not least the Western history of art, including in Dutch still-life painting and the vanitas painting genre of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries which served as a reminder of the transience of life. To draw out and contextualise these resonances, this monumental work has been placed within the historical collection galleries of NGV International.


Nendo studio – Manga Chairs 2015 – Trace sconce lights 2016

Oki Sato designer – Canada born 1977, emigrated to Japan ca. 1987
Nendo, Tokyo design studio, Japan est. 2002



Uji Hahan Handoko Eko Saputro – Young speculative wanderers 2014–2015

Indonesia born 1983



Pae White – Untitled 2017

United States born 1963


Pae White – Spearmint to peppermint 2013

White’s second work in the NGV Triennial is one of a number of recent tapestry works by the Californian artist, depicting the crumpled folds of crushed reflective foil. While initially the weave appears hyperreal and almost photographic, on closer inspection the effect reveals itself to be a vibration between material and printed image. This illusion is enhanced by what appears to be the transformation of dull cotton and polyester thread into reflective metal.



Shilpa Gupta – Untitled, 2012–2015

India born 1976

The black ambiguous mass of Shilpa Gupta’s sculpture stands in contrast to the sound it produces, which is based on a text by the artist that imagines a world in which people can move freely across national borders. The work continues her investigations into border-making in India, after the country was partitioned in 1947, and specifically into the Bangladeshi enclaves. The borders between these sovereign tracts of land are unclear, and their inhabitants’ lives are highly regulated. Gupta’s practice focuses on zones in which real and imagined divisions are played out, be they borderlines, within language, or ideas of censorship and security.


Nick Cave – Soundsuits

United States born 1959


Alvaro Catalán de Ocón / BULA’BULA ARTISTS

                                            Spain born 1975

In 2016 Alvaro Catalán de Ocón and members of his studio travelled to Ramingining in Arnhem Land to work with a group of Yolngu artists. The collaborative design process, led by Catalán de Ocón, devised a way to join weavings, repurposing traditional Yolngu mats as PET Lamp chandeliers.


Sissel Tolaas – Smell landscapes 2017

Norway born 1962

For the NGV Triennial Tolaas has created a ‘smell landscape’ of Melbourne composed of twenty unique smells for you to touch and smell – building a picture of the city in your mind, made up by smells both pleasant and unpleasant. The audience is invited to guess what each smell is. Through this project Tolaas aims to stimulate stories about time and place to enhance our understanding of our surroundings and to enable us to reconnect with our sense of smell – a sense she believes is being lost.


David Altmejd – Mother 1 (Relatives) 2013

Part of a suite of sculptures known as The Bodybuilders

Canada born 1974, works in United States 1999–


Alexandra Kehayoglou – Santa Cruz River 2016–2017

Argentina born 1982

Buenos Aires–based artist and designer Alexandra Kehayoglou uses hand-tufted wool rugs to draw into focus landscapes under threat of irreversible change. Her powerful works merge traditional rug-making techniques with detailed site analysis, drone footage and photography.


Camille Henrot – Contrology 2016

France born 1978, works in United States 2011–

The bronze sculpture is one in a series by Camille Henrot that humorously explores Monday and feelings that the first day of the week inspires, from renewed faith in the possibility for change to despondency over the tedium of weekly routine. How humans impose order onto their experience has been the focus of much of Henrot’s creative output in recent years.


Neri Oxman – The Vespers Series 2016

Israel born 1976

Designed by Neri Oxman in collaboration with the Mediated Matter Group of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), comprises fifteen life-size death masks made for The New Ancient collection by Stratasys, and 3D printed by Stratasys Ltd. Each mask is created using a Stratasys J750 3D Printer, which prints 3D forms by depositing colourful polymer droplets in layers. Oxman and her design team at MIT used fluid dynamics modelling software, colourful and translucent resins and the latest in high-resolution, multi-material 3D printing to produce masks that look organic and alive.


Akay Koo’oila Women’s Art Centre

Aurukun, est. 2015

Their creation is a symbol of peace, comfort and healing. Each individual ‘God’s eye’ derives its form and meaning from God’s eyes made in First Nations communities of West Mexico, which are believed to signify ‘the power to see and understand things unknown’.


Roland Snooks & Philip Samartzis – Floe 2018

Roland Snooks’ new large-scale installation transports audiences to Antarctica. Bridging spatial and sound design, a shimmering array of robotically-printed panels represents cutting edge production, design and fabrication research. Step inside and experience Melbourne artist Philip Samartzis’ immersive sound work, created using field recordings of Antarctic glacial accretion.


teamLab – Moving creates vortices and vortices create movement 2017

Japan est. 2001

Founded by Toshiyuki Inoko, teamLab is an art collective and interdisciplinary creative group based in Tokyo whose members refer to themselves as ‘ultratechnologists’. For the NGV Triennial, teamLab has created a fully immersive digital installation inspired by human, digital and spatial relationships. When a person moves within this environment, their movement is tracked by sensors that communicate via computer with the projectors – thus movement creates a visual vortex – expressing the movement of each person in the space as a continuum of digital particles. The faster each person moves, the stronger the vortex becomes. If a person is not moving or there are no people present, no visual flow occurs. As such, this work of art is born of and continues to transform under the influence of people.


Xu Zhen

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 2016–2017

China born 1977




Guo Pei – Legend 2017

China born 1967

In her installation for the NGV Triennial, Guo Pei presents ensembles from Legend, 2017, her 2017 spring–summer couture show in Paris. The collection was inspired by the Cathedral of Saint Gall in Switzerland.









This work was created by Brazilian designers Fernando and Humberto Campana in collaboration with Yarrenyty Arltere Artists, designers Elliat Rich and James Young and the Centre for Appropriate Technology – all based in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.



KIDS Creative Zone and Buffet of NGV Triennial







Texts and see you more at NGV


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