participating work: Drawing the urban space–negative space
2020 is undoubtedly a stirring and turbulent year. Different parts of the world have been widely infected by the Corona Virus pneumonia and experienced unprecedented public health and economic crises. The small city of Macau, which thrives on tourism and gaming, has also been affected by the force majeure. As a result, the local tourism industry and other industries have been hibernating for most of the year, which has brought a non-negligible impact on the economic situation. Fortunately, with the careful implementation of the anti-epidemic policy, and the awareness and concerted cooperation of the citizens, the lives and property of Macau residents have been protected to a large extent. Today, there are still more diagnosed cases around the world and even in neighbouring regions. As a member of the relatively stable Macau, we are humbly grateful to summarise what 2020 has brought to us. Lao Tzu said: “Good fortune follows upon disaster; disaster lurks within good fortune.”The interdependence of fortune and peril is the truth in life. If we understand the nature of interdependence and possible transformation, then everything that life presents to us is opportunity.
In December, Macau Art For All Society (AFA) came to its 13th anniversary. Looking back, in 2007, the art group consisted of six artists including the founding president Konstantin Bessmertny, Noah Ng Fong Chao, Bianca Lei, James Chu, Kent Ieong and Tong Chong. It has since developed into an association with more than 60 artist members. After the establishment of the AFA, a total of six general elections have been held. The president and board of councils have been elected through the election system of one member, one vote for six times. The current term of office is set at three years. In 2020 during the sixth election, I am honoured to be elected for the third time and become the president of the AFA again. Members of the general assembly and the board of councils and supervisors are also successfully elected through the election process. There are 13 members of the councils structure and the list is as follows: General Assembly President Alice Kok, Vice President Chiang Wai Lan, Vice President Tang Kuok Hou, Director of the Board of Council Eric Fok, Vice Director of Council Yoyo Wong Weng Io, Vice Director of Council Lai Sut Weng, Council Leong Chi Mou, Council Filipe Dores, Council Lei Chek On, Council Ieong Man Hin, Director of the Board of Supervisors Yves Etienne Sonolet, Supervisor Kit Lee and Supervisor MJ Lee.
In order to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the establishment of the Macau Art For All Society and the successful outcome of this year’s General Assembly Election, the annual anniversary members exhibition is held at the Galeria Lisboa of Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. A total of 21 artists including founding member artists, senior member artists and artists from the board of councils and supervisors were invited to participate in the exhibition. Born in between the 60s and the 90s, the artists’ background spanning through 40 years of generations. The media on display include paintings, sculptures, photography, installations, and video art with more than 40 artworks.
As one of the most representative groups of contemporary art in Macau, AFA is operated by professional artists. Through out the years, it has been focusing on making and providing spaces for artists to create, curatorial projects displayed on public platforms, and the art sales which is essential in the cultural and artistic ecological chain of the art scene. In the past 13 years, through more than 150 individual exhibitions and group exhibitions for artists, it has greatly promoted the vigorous development of local contemporary art and cultivated a group of young local artists. Today, many young artists of the new generation have taken on their own roles, serving as the pillars of the future and continuing to contribute to the development of culture and art. The opening of this exhibition has especially invited a group of artists and predecessors from the cultural world to join in the celebration, to witness the “Re-naissance” to this local contemporary art ship, share the power and achievements of art in society, and show our vision for the future and above all, to demonstrate our confidence and determination to move forward.
The title of this exhibition in Chinese is “生生”. In addition to the meaning of “re-birth / re-naissance”, the two characters for “生” can also be combined as “甡”, which means “numerous beings standing side by side”. The English name “Art For All”, which was named by the founding member and artist Bianca Lei at the time when AFA was born, has always been the iconic name and purpose of the association. The Macau Art For All firmly provides artists with the greatest degree of creative freedom and space, and at the same time acts as the bridge between the public and the government, to cultivate outstanding talents in Macau. In the name of art, the AFA brings to the public the indispensable innovative thinking of contemporary society, and to convey the importance of the spirit of art in an atmosphere of broad-mindedness, resilience and harmony.
Therefore, “生生’, is an endless word.
related links: AFA website