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Media Release • 1 Dec 15

Applications now open for 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair

Applications are now open for independent book publishers worldwide to exhibit at the 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair at NGV International. This year’s Fair will be expand from the Great Hall to the adjacent gallery spaces and feature more publishers and events than ever before.

Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV, said, ‘Following the successful debut of the Melbourne Art Book Fair in May 2015, which attracted 16,000 people, I’m pleased to invite independent publishers and artists from around the world to exhibit their publications and artist books at the Melbourne Art Book Fair in May 2016.

‘Visitors of all ages embraced our first event, which celebrated publishing as a key cultural practice and demonstrated the strong appetite that audiences have for contemporary art and design publishing,’ Ellwood said.

The 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair will feature keynote guests Berlin/New York-based independent publisher Sternberg Press in their Australian debut; a large-scale architectural commission by Thai artist Wit Pimkanchanapong; art, design and photography publications from around the world and a rich series of discussions, book launches, performances and panels throughout the weekend. RMIT Design Futures Lab will also return to the Fair with its second international symposium on the future of design for publishing.

The international publishing house Sternberg Press will make their Australian debut at the Melbourne Art Book Fair with a keynote presentation and stall. Sternberg Press, which was founded in 1999 by Caroline Schneider, features a catalogue of hundreds of titles and has become a formidable platform for independent books and critical discourse from fields such as architecture, design, film, politics, literature, art theory and philosophy.

Other highlights of the 2016 Fair include the release of a limited-edition poster book designed by award-winning book Melbourne designer Stuart Geddes, which draws from the NGV’s rich design archive of exhibition posters.

The architectural commission for the 2016 Fair will be Pimkanchanapong’s largest to date. Known for his ephemeral installation works that use simple, readymade materials such as paper, Pimkanchanapong also engages across various media including animation, design and robotics. In 2010 he created the world’s slowest instant messaging system on the façade of the Singapore Art Museum, with visitors’ text messages being recreated manually on a billboard outside the museum. For the Aichi Triennial in Japan in 2013, he collaborated with engineers to present Void, a robotic arm installed between two city buildings, which created abstract light sculptures in the evening sky.

RMIT Design Futures Lab will present its second international symposium on the future of design for publishing. The 2016 symposium focuses on new genres in publishing, with high-profile local and international speakers addressing various topical themes. In partnership with the RMIT Master of Communication Design program, the NGV will also present a series of public masterclasses on design and publishing throughout the weekend.

The Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office will provide opportunities for smaller press publishers to participate in the Fair free-of-charge; small press are encouraged to apply directly to the City of Literature Office’s website.

Applications for publishers and artists to take part in the 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair open today and close 15 January 2016. Apply at

A full list of stallholders and programs will be announced in March 2016.

The NGV gratefully acknowledges The Fred P Archer Charitable Trust for their support of the 2016 Melbourne Art Book Fair. The International Symposium on the Future of Design for Publishing is presented by the RMIT Design Futures Lab research group and generously supported by Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. The NGV acknowledges assistance provided by the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office in the presentation of the Melbourne Art Book Fair. The inclusion of Sternberg Press in the event is proudly supported by the NGV Friends of the Gallery Library.

About the Melbourne Art Book Fair
The inaugural Melbourne Art Book Fair launched on Friday 1 May 2015 with a sold-out preview party. Throughout the weekend more than 16,000 art book enthusiasts enjoyed access to the Fair and free programs, which created new dialogues around art, design and publishing.

More than 50 Australian and international book publishers, including the creators of the New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo Art book fairs, gathered at NGV International’s Great Hall for the inaugural Melbourne Art Book Fair, showcasing fine art, architecture and design publications and small-run artist books.

The design for the 2015 Fair, by Melbourne architect Fold Theory, recently won the 2015 ArchiTeam Sustainability Award.