International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia is the oldest cultural event in the world and is well-known for the scale and range it encompasses and has provided a unique platform for cultural artists and art groups from around the world. The exhibition “Heidi Lau: Apparition”, organised by the Macao Museum of Art (MAM, from the Portuguese acronym), under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, was inaugurated on 9 May at 5:45pm (local time) at the Macao-China venue of the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in Venice. It is the seventh time that the Macao Museum of Art has participated in La Biennale di Venezia under the name of “Macao-China” since 2007. This exhibition entitled “Apparition”, will showcase 10 pieces/sets of ceramic installations by young artist Heidi Lau, aiming to “apparate” the “invisible” Macao in response to the title of this year’s La Biennale, “May You Live in Interesting Times”.
The opening ceremony was officiated by the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ip Peng Kin; the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian; the artist Heidi Lau and the curator Lam Sio Man. The President of IC Mok Ian Ian said in her speech that she hoped that the exhibition opens the audience’s eyes to the historical references and artistic impulses expressed in the contemporary art of Macao, and deepens their knowledge of the city. Artist Heidi Lau and curator Lam Sio Man expressed their gratitude to the guests, their families and members of the organising team, and thanked for the great support of the organisers. Lam remarked that Lau’s works reflected a contemporary Macao that is growing at an unprecedented rate, and revealed many personal and family memories that people often overlooked, and even examined the history of the gambling industry in Macao. Her works materialise dialogues on identity, history and future, and at the same time possess the power to transcend reality.
Other guests included the members of organising committee of the China National Pavilion at the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Wang Chen, Li Rui, Xie Yanyi and Li Yunyun; the curator of the China National Pavilion, Wu Hongliang; the participating artists of the China National Pavilion, Chen Qi, Fei Jun, He Xiangyu and Liu Dapeng; the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Cherry Tse; the Special Representative for Hong Kong Economic and Trade Affairs to the European Union at the Brussels ETO of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Shirley Lam; the Chairman of Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Wilfred Wong; the artist of Macao Pavilion of the last Biennale and member of the jury this year, Wong Cheng Pou; as well as art professionals from various areas and art aficionados from Macao.
The opening ceremony was also attended by a delegation to the La Biennale di Venezia organised for the preparation of “Art Macao”, the mega international art and cultural event to be inaugurated in Macao in June. Members of the delegation included (in arbitrary order) the Advisor of the Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Lam Wan Nei; the Director of Galaxy Entertainment Group, Philip Cheng; the Chief Government Affairs Officer of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, Maggie Ma; the Vice President of Arts & Culture of MGM China Holdings Limited, Cristina Kuok; the Executive Director of Special Project Management and Development of Sands China, Catherine Kong; the Senior Consultant of SJM Group Marketing, Bernard Yiu; the Assistant Vice President of Special Events of Wynn Macau, Limited, Yolanda Lao; the Assistant President of Nam Kwong (Group) Company Limited, Song Xiaodong; and the Vice President of the Committee of Cultural Industries of the Macao SAR Government, Hsu Hsiu-Chu.
The exhibition explores the forgotten spirits and beliefs through an examination of Heidi Lau’s childhood memories which attempts to reveal Macao’s complex identity and history in the style of classical Chinese supernatural fiction, engaging the audience in profound reflection with her bizarre and extraordinary interpretation. The exhibition is held until 10 November, daily from 10am to 6pm (local time) and is closed on Mondays. The exhibition hall is located in front of the Arsenale, the Biennale’s main building, with address at Arsenale, Campo della Tana, Castello 2126/A, Venice, Italy. For more information, please visit www.MAM.gov.mo.View gallery