A Second Visit To Cia Guo-Qiang: Falling Back To Earth


It is not often that I have the opportunity to grasp a second look at an incredible exhibition by a world-renowned artist in my own backyard.

So when I was invited to revisit Cia Guo-Qiang: Falling Back To Earth with family at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA of QAGOMA), I did not hesitate to accept.

Releasing his first Australian solo exhibition at GOMA, international Artist Cia Guo-Qiang truly has ‘come home’ to Queensland and has brought his spectacular exhibition with him.

During his visit, Quo-Qiang said, “I was touched by the beauty of Queensland.”

As I walked through the gallery space I could see the Queensland influence on Quo-Qiang magnificent installations, which both challenges and provokes thought amongst the audience.

With famously large ambitions both in size and in impact, Guo-Qiang has presented Queensland with three large displays. All of which I experienced myself when I handed over my small white ticket that entitled me to a show of brilliance and contemplation.

When I stepped through the entranceway, I could see the incredible strength of Guo-Qiang’s work. As the first artist to spread artwork over the entire ground floor of GOMA, I could feel Guo-Qiang’s towering dreams and aspiration for a powerful impression.


As I looked up to the 100-year-old spotted gum tree (Corymbia maculata) towering overhead in the central Long Gallery, I thought about the complexity of Guo-Qiang’s vision. The entire native tree, roots and all, told a story of its own. I was provoked to consider the journey of its life. I contemplated the time where it stood still in the open air, the storms it must have stayed strong though and its complete cycle of life from beginning to end.

Eucalyptus is an opportunity for the public. It has created a simple and calming space for audiences, who make up the finished work, to interact, reflect and contemplate the cycle of life. Located next to the Tea Pavilion with Fujian Tie Guan Yin tea on offer, sitting peacefully nearby the spotted gum is not a difficult task.   

I continued on with a second, third and fourth walk around the enormous unspoiled lake in Heritage, which opposes the conflicts of life, before moving on to Head On.

Heritage at QAGOMA Author Katherine Lamont

Each animal in Heritage and Head On had particularly strong details that drew the audience in and allowed you to get lost in their eyes. Created in Guo-Qiang’s hometown in Quanzhou, China, 99 (a significant number in Chinese numerology) of these larger than life sized creatures were displayed in both exhibitions.


My second time around Cia Guo-Qiang: Falling Back To Earth was just as exciting as the first. As the most anticipated exhibition of the last year, it is no wonder that this compelling exhibition has impressed the city of Brisbane.

Sharing the love,

Emily Rose