Art Macao connects the whole world with creativity presenting a movable feast of the city with diverse visual art experiences

The press conference of “Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021 ”.

“Art Macao”, a mega international cultural and artistic event in Macao, will be held from July to October this year. Under the patronage of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture and the Secretariat for Economy and Finance, the event 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. “Art Macao” is held on a biennale basis. This edition of the “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, featuring 30 art exhibitions in 25 locations, bringing an immersive cultural atmosphere to the entire city as a gallery and an art garden, and presenting a movable feast of the city.

The “Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021”, themed “To Create for Well-being”, gathers creative ideas from around the world, aiming to promote the reputation of Macao as a world heritage city and reshape the humanistic spirit in the post-epidemic era. The press conference was held on 6 July at the Macao Cultural Centre Conference Room, and was attended by the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Mok Ian Ian; the Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; and the representatives of six hotels and integrated resorts: (in random order) 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 Director of Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited, Clarence Chung Yuk Man; the President, Chief Strategic and Financial Officer of MGM, Kenneth Feng; the Advisor of Galaxy Entertainment Group, Dr. Jorge Neto Valente; the Deputy General Manager of Nam Kwong (Group) Company Limited, Song Xiaodong; the Head of Department of Cultural and Recreational Affairs and Civic Education of the Municipal Affairs Bureau, Patsy Ko Pui San; the Assistant to Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Corporate Quality Division of Air Macau Company Limited, Wen Dexin; the chief curator of the Creative City Pavilion, Yao Fong; as well as Macao artists selected in Selected Works by Local Artists, including Fok Hoi Seng, Ieong Man Pan, João Miguel Barros, Konstantin Bessmertny, Kun Wang Tou, Leong Lam Po, Mak Kuong Weng, Sit Ka Kit, Wong Soi Lon and Wong Weng Io.

Qiu Zhijie as Chief Curator; reflecting advance and retreat of globalization with art

“Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021” 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. Chief curator Qiu Zhijie won the annual Award of Art China by Artron twice and was nominated for the same award three times; he was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize of the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2012, and received an honorary mention at the Sharjah Biennial in 2017. He held dozens of individual exhibitions and hundreds of collective exhibitions at galleries from home and abroad, and curated numerous exhibitions, including the 9th Shanghai Biennale “Reactivation” in 2012 and the exhibition “Continuum - Generation by Generation” at the China Pavilion in the Venice Biennale in 2017, which earned a dramatic response. During his visit in Macao for the “Art Macao”, he will host two thematic lectures, bringing inspiration to the curatorial thinking and exploring the manifestation of “Asia” in art.

The Main Exhibition at the Macao Museum of Art is divided into three parts: “The Dream of Mazu”, “Matteo Ricci’s Labyrinth of Memory” and “Advance and Retreat of Globalization”. In the press conference, the chief curator Qiu Zhijie introduced the curatorial concept via video. He believes that it seems as if the “PAUSE” button has been pressed suddenly on globalization in the global outbreak of pandemic in 2020. In the midst of this pandemic, artists around the world have been continuously working on creation, striving to open up a new spiritual path that saves the world from despair. The exhibition highlights the geographical and cultural identities of Macao and provides a space for artists around the world to discuss on globalization and individuality, daily life and dreams, remoteness and proximity, as well as security and happiness.

Featuring the Creative City Pavilion for the first time, demonstrating the cutting-edge charm of contemporary art

The Creative City Pavilion, featured in the “Art Macao” for the first time, brings together the distinctive cultural essence of various UNESCO Creative Cities, including Macao, Nanjing, Wuhan and Linz. The exhibition “Macao: City of Gastronomy - Bon Appétit!” features the works of 13 artists (groups), including Carlos Alberto dos Santos Marreiros and Wong Ka Long, who each explore 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” focuses on individuals in grand historical events from a micro perspective, 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 from Linz, Austria, the City of Media Arts. The above exhibitions will be held from 23 July at the Macao Contemporary Art Center - Navy Yard No.1, Tap Seac Gallery and Mong-Ha Villas respectively, presenting the infinite creativity of each city and the cutting-edge charm of contemporary art.

In the “Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021”, 6 public artworks will be presented in various districts, showing creations of artists from Mainland China, Thailand, Argentina, Egypt and Italy, and connecting the world with creativity; while 12 artworks by Macao artists will be exhibited in the Selected Works by Local Artists, which provides an international exchange platform for Macao artists, broadens their international perspectives and cultivates outstanding talents. For the Collateral Exhibition featured in the “Art Macao”, various higher education institutions including the University of Macau, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macao Polytechnic Institute and the University of Saint Joseph, will host exhibitions, allowing students to show their artistic vitality in the “Art Macao”.

A series of art exchange activities will be organized during the event, as well as the “Art Tour” in various exhibition venues, allowing the audience to explore the charm of “Art Macao”. The press conference of “Art Macao” was attended by the Head of the Department of Exhibitions and Museums of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Sam Hou In; and the Head of Advertising and Production Division of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Grace Chen.

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. For more information, please visit the official website at www.artmacao.mo, “artmacao” on Instagram, “IC Art” page on Facebook, and “IC_Art_Macao” on WeChat.

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