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15 December 2017

The inaugural NGV Triennial presents an unprecedented and large-scale exhibition of international art, design and architecture from 15 December 2017 to 15 April 2018 at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Free and exclusive to Melbourne, the NGV Triennial showcases major works by more than 100 artists and designers from 32 countries, transforming all four levels of NGV International.

Traversing established, mid-career and emerging practitioners at the forefront of their fields, the NGV Triennial artists and designers are exploring some of the critical issues of our time through practices embracing cutting edge technologies, from 3D printing to robotics, as well as performance, film, painting, drawing, installation and fashion design, tapestry and sculpture.

Comprising a monumental mass of 100 resin-cast skulls, each a measuring 1.5m and collectively weighing approximately 5 tonnes, Ron Mueck’s world-premiere installation, Mass, 2016-17, is one of twenty large-scale new artworks that have been especially commissioned by the NGV for this exhibition. Reminiscent of the catacombs in Paris, the awe-inspiring work by one of Australia’s leading sculptors has been generously supported by the Felton Bequest.

Further world-premiere highlights commissioned by the NGV and major acquisitions include:

  • Yayoi Kusama (Japan): A major new participatory work in which visitors will completely cover a purpose-built apartment with 3D flowers and flower stickers;
  • Xu Zhen (China): Exploring Buddhist aspects of his own cultural heritage and various traditional depictions of the Buddha, Xu Zhen has recreated a 15.8m long replica of a reclining Buddha sculpture and adorned the figure with 3D scanned and cast replicas of classical Greco-Roman, Renaissance and Neoclassical sculptures in order to break down cultural boundaries and promote cross-cultural understanding;
  • Guo Pei (China): The Chinese couturier has created a never-before-seen installation of crystal-encrusted, Marie Antoinette-inspired haute couture gowns from her sumptuous Legends collection;
  • Sissel Tolaas (Norway): The world-renowned ‘smell designer’ has imbued the scents of Melbourne into the walls of the Gallery in an interactive olfactory display;
  • Alexandra Kehayoglou (Argentina): Using her family’s traditional carpet-making techniques, Kehayoglou will create a monumental 46m2 carpet landscape titled Santa Cruz River thatdocuments one of Argentina’s most contested landscapes;
  • Candice Breitz (South Africa): A new video work that reveals the personal histories of six refugees, in which Hollywood actors Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin give voice to their stories and bring the privilege of celebrity into contrast with the hardship of the refugee experience;
  • Estudio Campana (Brazil), Yarrenyty Arltere Artists (Australia) and Elliat Rich (Australia): An important cross-cultural collaboration that draws upon the complementary skills of the participating artists to create a brightly coloured, large-scale upholstered dome, to be used as a meeting point and welcoming entrance to the exhibition;
  • Formafantasma (The Netherlands): The Amsterdam-based studio will present a world-premiere collection of conceptual design objects based on their research into above-ground mining, revealing the problematic ways in which design defines what materials will become while often failing to communicate their origins or potential afterlife;
  • Nendo (Japan): The NGV Triennial will present fifty Manga chairs, 2015, which reimagine the standard chair with a design element drawn from manga; effect lines, speech bubbles and symbols that visualise emotion are incorporated into the chairs’ stainless-steel frames. A major acquisition for the NGV Collection, Nendo’s Manga chairs will be presented alongside fifty Trace sconce lights, 2016.
  • Richard Mosse (Ireland): A three-channel video that uses a high-tech long-range military camera to capture events surrounding the crisis in Syria and subsequent flood of refugees, jointly commissioned by the NGV and London’s Barbican Art Gallery;
  • teamLab (Japan): an interactive and immersive installation from the famous ‘ultratechnologist’ design collective that creates a ‘vortex’ using a digital floor which responds as water would to the audience’s presence and movement;
  • We Make Carpets (The Netherlands): In an Australian premiere, Dutch art collective We Make Carpetshas created a spectacular exhibition for children and families in which the floors and walls of the gallery will be covered in vividly colourful murals created with household objects, including kitchen sponges, Velcro squares, pegs and coloured rope. Visitors are encouraged to add to the kaleidoscopic patterns by adding objects directly to the walls and floors of the gallery.
  • 2017 NGV Architecture Commission: Entitled Garden Wall by Retallack Thompson and Other Architects, the elegantly-designed structure comprises over 260 white walls clad in transparent woven mesh, which offer visitors the opportunity to rediscover NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden.

Occurring every three years, the NGV Triennial is supported by the Victorian Government through the Creative State strategy.

The NGV Triennial will be on display at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, from 15 December 2017 to 15 April 2018. Entry is FREE.

The opening weekend on 16 and 17 December will feature local and international visiting artists and designers, including Ben Quilty, Candice Breitz, Humberto Campana and Richard Mosse, in a program of floor talks, conversations and interviews.

Visit the NGV Triennial online