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A warm oceanic breath will reach wintry London in early 2026, when the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is set to host an exhibition of highlights from the 30-year history of Brisbane’s Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT).
The show, which is yet to be named, is being produced by the V&A in partnership with the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA). The triennial takes over QAGOMA every three years and is Brisbane’s flagship art festival, drawing artists from across the region. There will be plenty of works for the London and Brisbane curators to choose from—QAGOMA has acquired 1,300 pieces from the triennial since its inception in 1993.
QAGOMA’s director, Chris Saines, was in London this week for the museums’ joint announcement of the show. “For three decades the APT has been the cornerstone of our gallery programme, bringing together the work of more than 650 artists and groups from across 50 countries in the Asia Pacific region,” he says in a statement.
Thanks to its acquisitions from the triennial, QAGOMA has built “an extraordinary, unrivalled collection of contemporary Asian and Pacific art that represents the unique creative voices of world-renowned contemporary artists alongside collaborations with local communities and arts makers”, Saines adds.
Drawing on these holdings, the V&A exhibition will present “works ranging from large-scale sculptural installations to miniature painting to works on bark cloth and intricate body adornment”, according to the press statement. It is expected that some of the featured artists will travel to London for the opening in 2026.
The V&A collaboration is only the second time that works from the triennial have toured internationally, following a 2019 exhibition in Santiago, Chile.
Tristram Hunt, the V&A’s director, says: “The APT presents a truly global, cross-cultural offering of contemporary practice across disciplines and regions, and we look forward to sharing this with our international audiences in London.”
Over the years, the triennial has included art ranging from the major metropolises of Asia to isolated Pacific atolls and remote Indigenous communities in Australia. It has attracted more than four million visitors to date. The most recent edition, APT10, was held at QAGOMA from December 2021 to April 2022.