“Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021” opens navigating a great garden of artistic creativity

16 July 2021

“Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021” was inaugurated today (15 July) at the Macao Museum of Art. On the occasion, the Main Exhibition themed “Advance and Retreat of Globalization” was also inaugurated. A four-month mega international cultural and artistic event, “Art Macao” presents 30 art exhibitions in 25 locations, and gathers artistic and cultural forces from around the world to build the artistic network across the city, showcasing creativity and imagination through the artworks. Macao will once again become a great garden filled of artistic creativity from July to October, where the public can enjoy a movable feast of the city and experience the diverse visual arts.

The opening ceremony of “Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021” was officiated by the representative of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, adviser Lam Wan Nei; the Director of the Department of Publicity and Culture of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Wan Sucheng; the wife of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Li Ping; the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; the Chief Curator, Qiu Zhijie; the Deputy Director of the Education and Youth Development Bureau, Teng Sio Hong; the Member of the Administration Committee on Municipal Affairs of the Municipal Affairs Bureau, Lam Sio Un; the President of Sands China Ltd., Dr. Wilfred Wong; the Managing Director of SJM RESORTS, LIMITED, Angela Leong On Kei; the Vice Chairman and Executive Director of Wynn Macau, Limited, Linda Chih-Ling Chen; the Managing Director of Galaxy Casino S.A., Dr. Jorge Neto Valente; the Director of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, Clarence Chung Yuk Man; the President, Chief Strategic and Financial Officer of MGM, Kenneth Feng; the Deputy General Manager of Nam Kwong (Group) Company Limited, Song Xiaodong; the Vice President of Air Macau Company Limited, Liao Hanxi; and the Chief Curator of the Creative City Pavilion, Yao Feng; as well as artists who participated in the Main Exhibition, Chen Baoyang, Lin Linfeng and Shi Ziyuan.

The President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian, addressed in her speech that “Art Macao” aimed to enrich residents’ daily lives with global art resources and stimulate the wisdom and imagination of the city, which vividly manifested the concept of building “the base”. In the future, “Art Macao” will continue to adopt a biennale basis. The SAR Government will continue to promote the humanistic construction of Macao as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure and Creative City of Gastronomy, strengthening the exchange of Chinese culture and multiculturalism in Macao, promoting the connection between peoples and the development of cultural undertakings and of the cultural industries.

This edition is curated by Professor Qiu Zhijie, one of the most influential contemporary artists in China and Dean of the School of Experimental Art of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, focusing on contemporary visual arts. “Art Macao” is divided into several sections: Main Exhibition, Special Exhibition of Resorts and Hotels, Creative City Pavilion, Public Art Exhibition, Selected Works by Local Artists and Collateral Exhibition, aiming to reshape the humanistic spirit in the post-epidemic era.

Main Exhibition features three exhibitions exploring globalization, opening a new spiritual path with the arts

Themed “Advance and Retreat of Globalization”, the Main Exhibition at the Macao Museum of Art is curated by Qiu Zhijie. It is divided into three parts: “The Dream of Mazu”, “Matteo Ricci’s Labyrinth of Memory” and “Advance and Retreat of Globalization”, providing a space for reflection and discussion on globalization and individuality, life and dreams, remoteness and proximity, security and happiness, among others. The three thematic exhibitions feature over 40 artists from nearly 20 countries and regions, presenting more than 100 pieces/sets of artworks. Qiu Zhijie expressed that the Main Exhibition gathered the artistic ideas from artists around the world during the globalization era especially in the midst of the pandemic, which bridged a channel for mutual communication and understanding through arts.

The first part of the Main Exhibition “The Dream of Mazu” brings together Ming and Qing export porcelain transhipped through Macao, the combination of traditional and contemporary creations of azulejo tiles by artists from Portugal, the brand-new blue-and-while porcelain works by artists from China and the Middle East; the second part of the Main Exhibition, “Matteo Ricci’s Labyrinth of Memory”, describes the Western world’s view of China over 500 years. Both parts of the exhibition are held until 15 August. The third part of the Main Exhibition, “Advance and Retreat of Globalization”, shows that artists around the world have been continuously working on creation, striving to open a new spiritual path that leads the world from despair, and organizing the ideas about tradition and memory mentioned in the first two chapters. This part of the exhibition is held until 17 October.

Public artwork “Sun Boat” staged in Barra Square; Creative City Pavilion will be inaugurated next week

In addition, “Art Macao” presents six eye-catching public art installations in various districts, showing creations of artists from Mainland China, Thailand, Argentina, Egypt and Italy. The work “Sun Boat” by artist Moataz Nasr from Egypt will be staged in Barra Square from 16 July, exploring the concept of “migration”. The work features a sun disc of 360 paddles tied to each other in a circular shape, illustrating the endless, interconnected movement of human beings on earth seeking a better life.

A series of art exchange activities will be organized during the event. In the midst of the pandemic, the hotels and integrated resorts and enterprises organized different programmes this year, bringing a number of key exhibitions that offer creative surprises and aesthetic delights. The Creative City Pavilion, which brings together the distinctive cultural essence of various UNESCO Creative Cities, will be held from 23 July at the Macao Contemporary Art Center – Navy Yard No.1, Tap Seac Gallery and Mong-Ha Villas respectively. A number of thematic exhibitions will also be presented. The exhibition “Macao: City of Gastronomy – Bon Appétit!” features the works of 13 artists (groups), including Carlos Marreiros and Wong Ka Long, who each explores in their own unique way the interplay of “food” in relation to society and history. Nanjing is a city of literature and creation. The exhibition, themed “Opening Up the Realm”, features works of dozens of outstanding poets, novelists, critics, and artists of Nanjing, including Su Tong and Zhao Benfu. The works include manuscripts, calligraphies, documentaries and paintings of worms by Zhu Yingchun, allowing the audience to reconsider the realm of life through the literary eyes of Nanjing writers. The exhibition “Wuhan: City of Design – Empathy” includes sections “Design in the Epidemic”, facemask initiative “Color4Smile” and Art of Fashion Exhibition “Hui.Xin”, exploring the most dazzling facet of human nature – empathy. The exhibition “Linz: City of Media Arts – The Art of Interface” displays the works of a number of renowned multimedia artists engaging in digital art.

Under the patronage of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture and the Secretariat for Economy and Finance, “Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021” is organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Macao Government Tourism Office, and co-organized by the Education and Youth Development Bureau, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, MGM, Sands China Ltd., SJM RESORTS, LIMITED, Wynn Macau, Limited, and Nam Kwong (Group) Company Limited, with the participation of various creative cities and local higher education institutions, as well as the support of the Municipal Affairs Bureau and Air Macau.

The Cultural Affairs Bureau will strictly follow the relevant guidelines of the Health Bureau and implement appropriate measures for “Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021”. All participants must wear face masks, undergo temperature checks, present a valid “Macao Health Code” of the day, and follow crowd control measures on-site. Admission to all activities is free.

More information will be announced later on the respective webpage at www.artmacao.mo, its official Instagram account “artmacao”, “IC Art” page on Facebook, and WeChat account “IC_Art_Macao”.
(Cultural Affairs Bureau)

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