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Over $14million falls back to Queensland from Cai Guo-Qiang exhibition
Cai Guo-Qiang China b.1957 Heritage 2013 99 life-sized replicas of animals, water, sand, drip mechanism Installed dimensions variable Commissioned for the exhibition ‘Falling Back to Earth’, 2013. Purchased 2013 with funds from the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Diversity Foundation through and with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation Collection: Queensland Art Gallery. Photo: Brad Wagner.

BRISBANE.- ‘Falling Back to Earth’, the first Australian solo exhibition by Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang, presented at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from November 2013 to May 2014, has resulted in a $14.51 million boost to Queensland’s economy.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said ‘Falling Back to Earth’ was a triumph for the Gallery, with the exhibition attracting more than 229,000 visits, making it the second highest attendance to a ticketed exhibition for the Gallery.

‘The exhibition generated 115,978 visitor nights in Brisbane, and influenced visitors’ perceptions of the city – 100% of exhibition-related overseas visitors said it made a positive contribution to Brisbane’s reputation.

‘We know Cai Guo-Qiang is one of the most important artists working today, and the incredible audience response to ‘Falling Back to Earth’ makes it one of the most successful exhibitions at QAGOMA to date, alongside those shows of work by iconic 20th century artists Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.

‘Visitors were entranced by Heritage (2013), Cai’s installation of 99 animals peacefully gathered around a serene lake directly inspired by the artist’s experiences of North Stradbroke Island, and his signature work of 99 leaping wolves titled Head On (2006), which made its Australian debut in the exhibition,’ he said.

‘Falling Back to Earth’ was made possible through funding from Arts Queensland and Tourism and Events Queensland, corporate support from Presenting Sponsor Santos GLNG and Principal Sponsor Audi. The generosity of Gold Coast benefactor Win Schubert, AO also enabled the Gallery to acquire Heritage.

Santos Vice President Queensland Trevor Brown said Santos had been supporting the arts in Queensland for more than 20 years as part of its strong track record of investing the benefit of a thriving natural gas industry back into local communities.

‘We’re pleased our support of ‘Falling Back to Earth’ has contributed to a $14.5 million boost to the Queensland economy. This adds to the significant economic benefits Santos GLNG is contributing to this state now and into the future,’ Mr Brown said.

‘The success of ‘Falling Back to Earth’ demonstrates how cultural experiences deliver significant tourism outcomes for Queensland, and enhance the world’s perception of what this state can offer,' said Mr Saines.

During the exhibition period, more than 111,000 young visitors attended the gallery, many taking part in ‘Let’s Create in Exhibition with a Boy Named Cai’, the interactive activities in the Children’s Art Centre supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.

Regional Queensland families also shared in the fun, with a program of interactive activities touring to over 60 regional galleries and community venues being attended by over 11,000 visitors.

The value of media coverage of the exhibition and associated public programs is valued in excess of $10.7 million.

GOMA is currently showing ‘Harvest: Art, Film + Food’, a celebration of food in art, until September 21. Tickets are now on sale for ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’, opening November 1, 2014 – February 15, 2015, as part of a raft of Japanese art focused exhibitions showing at QAGOMA over summer 2014/15.

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