Brisbane mini-break

Earlier this year I went up to Brisbane for a few days. Before this trip, I’d only been to Brisbane once before on a family holiday during the mid-90s. I was a teenager on that first visit – a very different person – so it’s hard to compare experiences. The five of us stayed in a suburban motel and ate at a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner every night. I still remember the delicious canh chua we ate with steamed rice. Not quite home cooking, but it was pretty good.

This visit I had a really nice time catching up with my friend Catherine, and I also got the chance to see other friends I’ve made over the past year. Delicious lunch at a new tapas bar called Olé; cold drinks on a hot day at Three Monkeys in the West End; cocktails at the Lychee Room; dinner at an Indonesia restaurant on Hardgrave Road; a stand up show at the Brisbane Comedy Festival; the beautiful farmers’ market at New Farm Park. Looking back on all the things I did, it’s little wonder I had such a great time.

One of the trip highlights was the last thing we did before I had to fly out – a trip to GOMA, Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art. It featured an impressive collection of contemporary art and a strong focus on artists from the Asia-Pacific.

Ok, I know I just talked about art in my last post (The art of travel), and it’s a bit boring for me to talk about it again so soon, but the Yayoi Kusama exhibition was truly something else. I’m a bit of a fan of hers and first saw an exhibition of her work at the MCA in 2009. I loved that exhibition so much that I actually went back a few times.

Walking in my Mind by Yayoi Kusama at GOMA
Walking in my Mind by Yayoi Kusama at GOMA

The Kusama exhibition at GOMA included The Obliteration Room which started out as a white room with white objects. Upon entry each person got a sheet of colourful round stickers to stick where they liked. By the end of the exhibition there is hardly any white space left – the room is ‘obliterated’. Both children and adults alike were mad for it…and that’s why I found it to be an ingenious idea. And fun!

At its best, art is a mirror to society and a lens through which to view the world. It entertains, surprises and moves…and sometimes it includes you as well.

The Obliteration Room by Yayoi Kusama at GOMA
The Obliteration Room by Yayoi Kusama at GOMA

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