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"18/28: The Singhaseni Tapestries," a work by Jakkai Siributr shown at APT9, is a family tale of political persecution in Thailand told through patchwork and embroidery.   © Josef Ruckli, QAGOMA

Brisbane's Asia-Pacific art festival melds remote and familiar

Contemporary 'triennial' doubles down on quixotic regional focus

MAX CROSBIE-JONES, Contributing writer | Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands

BRISBANE, Australia -- After visiting the first edition of Brisbane's triennial celebration of regional contemporary art in 1993, the eminent Singaporean critic T.K. Sabapathy was impressed by what he saw, and also a tad jealous.

"The Asia Pacific Triennial recently convened in Brisbane provides useful lessons," he wrote in a paper lamenting Singapore's then listless art institutions and anemic attempts at regional exhibition-making. "Yes, it was a blockbuster event. Why was this so? Because there was vision, because there was purpose, because there was drive," Sabapathy noted.

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