Learning from Experience in Asia, Promoting the Development of Experimental Video in Macao
Curator: Bianca Lei
Last year(2010), I participated in “EX!T 2010 — Experimental Media Art Festival in Taiwan and Asia Forum”, curating a screening programme of Macao Experimental Video Works for the Festival and presenting an essay in the Forum. It was a great opportunity to show Macao experimental video works to all curators and the audience in Taiwan. The screening works have included the video artworks from Contemporary artists in Macao and the experimental moving-images works from several young directors. And the content of the essay in the Forum, I have talked about the past context and present day status of Macao from the perspective of local art associations, experimental video makers (including video artists and experimental video directors), moving-images education and the public sector.
In that festival, from those curators, speakers in the Forum and video works in the screenings, I understood and studied numerous things about the circumstance of the experimental media art in each Asian region or country. That exchange experience was positive and valuable to me. Furthermore, it was important to know a group of outstanding curators, film directors and video artists and I was affected by their persistent and dedicated attitude about giving impetus to experimental media art. And then, it has stimulated me rethinking the direction of development of experimental video in Macao. How it would develop healthfully like those narrative films or documentaries which have been supported substantially by Macao government right now? To promote experimental video in Macao could learn from these Asian elites with forward-looking view and also draw support from their networks to connect with more strength. Under that great atmosphere, I started to conceive the idea of organizing an experimental video festival in Macao, bringing those excellent video works and introducing those significant creators to Macao public.
Macau where film and video related training needs to be improved, where there is lack of screening platforms, no distribution schemes and with a shortage of adequate support (including finance and equipment), all this means that moving image work in Macao, whether film or video art, commercial or experimental, has developed in a less than healthy environment. Additionally, there were few people making experimental works, and most of the so-called experimental videos are videos made by artists. Regardless of whether it is experimental film and video or video art (made by artists), Macau audiences in general regard such productions as very strange, and even have a mental resistance to them in comparison to narrative film and television or other video types. These reasons make experimental video an even more marginalized art form. However, the increasing popularity and availability of filming equipment and computer editing software, has meant more people have been making video works in Macau in recent years. In addition, Macau government put resources specifically for the development of cultural and creative industries and has listed film and video as one of eight key development areas. We can see that Macao Government is energetically promoting Macao film and video. However, will the avant-garde and experimental film and video works have the same attention from Macao Government? 
Since 2009, “EXiS – Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul” has been held for 3 years and “EX!T — Experimental Media Art Festival in Taiwan” for two years since 2010.KLEX – Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film and Video Festival has been also organized in October, this year. And there will be a similar festival holding in Mainland China next year. This succession of activities have gathered the driving forces of experimental media art in Asia, linking people with identical mission to explore and exchange further and even more deeply the status and development of Experimental media art, the diverse expansion of cross-disciplinary integration of moving-images and other media, the position of Asia experimental media art in the international environment. Even though the development of experimental video in Macao has just started, the “EX” activities and their network must be good to the development of experimental moving-images in Macao. I understand that experimental works are marginalized and not accepted easily, but it is always my hope to promote them to more people knowing and watching, and even making and creating their own experimental works — a little more effort, a little more potentiality.
As the resources of Ox warehouse Art Space, the original idea was only to organize 6 screenings. However, after the suggestion of Tony Wu (curator from Taiwan) and Lee Hangjun(curator from Korea), a Forum will be held also. Finally, under the supports of all curators (Phoebe Man, Au Sow-Yee, Tony Wu, Cao Kai and Lee Hangjun), Ox warehouse Art Space can organize “EXiM 2011 – Asian Experimental Video Festival in Macao”.
 Extracted from my essay –《The development and status of experimental video in Macao》for the “EX!T 2010 – Asia Forum” .
16:30 The Asian Experimental Video Forum
Speaker: All curators
venue : Ox Warehouse
Festival Curator : Bianca Lei
Administrative coordinator: Oscar Cheong, May HA_
Venue and Screening Coordinator : Calvin LAM
Graphic Design: Iris Kuan
Documentation: Sam Hou In
sponsors：IACM, Macau Foundation