The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) is conveniently located in The Rocks near Circular Quay. Outside of the museum they have set up the Cherry Blossom Bar for the summer, which is where Tash, Mary, David, Belinda and I met up on Friday afternoon for pre-show drinks before heading across to the Sydney Opera House to see Crowded House. It's a nice, breezy spot with views of the waterfront and paper lanterns along the branches of cherry blossom trees by the bar. There were a variety of drinks on offer and I went with the Fuji Funk cocktail which had campari, yuzu, lemon juice, gin, vermouth, aloe vera and tonic water. It was quite tasty and refreshing. You can also order food from the Japanese inspired menu, which includes gyoza and bento boxes to share.
Today Belinda and I returned to MCA to check out some of the current exhibitions. Our first stop was Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect With Everything, which is the first exhibition by this Japanese contemporary artist in the Southern Hemisphere. Miyajima's works mainly explores the passage of time through the use of small digital counting devices emitting different colored LEDs that are contained within sculptures and various large scale pieces and immersive environments.
The room-scale installations were my favorite part of the exhibition. The red environment of "Arrow of Time" is about the irreversibility of time and how we need to live in the moment. It contains digital devices hanging at various heights from the ceiling, and there are bean bags around the floor for you to lay down on to stare up at devices as they count down.
The most breathtaking piece though was "Mega Death," which is a giant blue room with each of the digital devices on the three walls representing life on Earth. The counters go off and on at different times, illustrating death and birth. However, it is the unknown factor of when and for how long they will all go off in unison, plunging the room into darkness, that makes the piece so interesting. Despite these mass extinctions, life gradually begins again as the individual counters slowly come back to life.
The other main exhibition that we checked out was for Melbourne artist Louise Hearman, which showcased her paintings and drawings from 1990-2016. Her works featured portraits and some surreal paintings with animals and other objects that made for some unique compositions.
Louise Hearman's exhibition closes on 4 December 2016, while you have until 5 March 2017 to catch Tatsuo Miyajima: Connect With Everything.