Global Commissions

The NGV Triennial has announced that more than 60 artists from over 30 countries will participate in its inaugural event. Set to be held between 15 December 2017 – 15 April 2018, this new festival will include major presentations from international and Australian artists across all four levels of NGV International, and it will be free and exclusive to Melbourne. Spanning a breadth of artistic and design disciplines, the Triennial will showcase the works of creatives that use cutting edge technologies, from 3D printing to robotics, as well as performance, film, painting, drawing, fashion design, tapestry and sculpture. In particular, the exhibition will present work from regions not strongly represented in the NGV’s current holdings including Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Supported by the Victorian Government through the Creative State strategy, the NGV Triennial is considered one of the most ambitious projects in the NGV’s history. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the display of art and design, the Triennial will explore the social, cultural, scientific and physiological terrains of our contemporary world. The programme is divided into five conceptual themes – body, change, movement, time and virtual – in order to formulate concentrated dialogues. The artists that have been selected for the event will both exhibit recent works and respond to new NGV commissions, which in turn will create a legacy for the gallery’s collection and community.

In total, 20 new projects have been commissioned by for the NGV Triennial. Alexandra Kehayoglou from Argentina is one of the artists commissioned to produce a new large-scale installation. For the Triennial, Kehayoglou uses her family’s traditional carpet-making techniques to create a monumental 100m2 carpet landscape titled Santa Cruz River that documents one of Argentina’s most contested landscapes. Candice Breitz from South Africa presents a new video work that reveals the personal histories of six refugees, which sees Hollywood actors Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin give voice to their stories to bring the privilege of celebrity into contrast with the hardship of the refugee experience.

Estudio Campana (Brazil), Yarrenyty Arltere Artists (Australia) and Elliat Rich (France) collaborate to draw upon the shared cultural motifs of the artists to create a brightly coloured upholstered dome, to be used as a meeting point and welcoming entrance to the exhibition. Elsewhere, Italian designers Formafantasma will investigate the impact of the global trade in rare earth materials for consumer goods such as smartphones; and Richard Mosse (Ireland) installs 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. The piece is jointly commissioned by the NGV and London’s Barbican Art Gallery.

From Japan, Yayoi Kusama will present a major new participatory project in which visitors will obliterate a specially made domestic setting with flower motifs, referencing her first experience of hallucination, whilst ultratechnologist design collective teamLab will present an interactive and immersive installation that digitally recreates a ‘vortex’ that responds as water would to the audience’s presence and movement. Additional artists exhibiting preexisting works include Iris van Herpen, Shilpa Gupta, Paulina Ołowska and many more.

NGV International Triennial, 15 December 2017 – 15 April 2018, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

For a full list of commissions and exhibiting artists, visit

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1. Alexandra Kehayoglou, No Longer Creek, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.