exhibition:“Re-Naissance” – Macau Art For All Society 13th Anniversary Members Exhibition2020-12-17
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
curating: EXiM 2020 (iv) — “Blue on Blue” – Works by Wenhua Shi2020-10-24
EXiM2020 proudly presents Blue on Blue – Shi Wenhua Solo Exhibition as the third exhibition in the 2020 series. Shi, a Chinese diaspora artist, is established as a fearless Avant Garde in the moving image experimental field and contemporary art practices. Currently he is an assistant professor at University of Massachusetts Boston. During the exhibition, EXiM 2020 installed his most recent works. Six pieces in the format of single channel, multi-channel, projections and installations are located at the 1st and 2nd floor of the exhibition hall.
Shi created Because the Sky is Blue with Cyanotype, an antiquated photographic chemical printing process, commonly known as blueprints. The artist reproduced animation stills from mobile short video clips frame by frame and then this process repurposed video into a sequence of stills. In this work, the artist takes audiences on a time-travelling journey, from today’s wide-spread digital memes back to the century-old period of Cyanotype still photography, through animated rephotographing, finally returning to high-definition video. It, seemly, is a retrospective voyage of image development, as the non-material medium has been transformed into tangible image on paper with potassium ferricyanide and ultraviolet ray sunlight effects. Yet, the artist, painstakingly, altered the rhythm of the original video sequence through frame-by-frame animation. Gutai is named after Japanese post WWII art movement Gutai Bijutsu Kyōkai, aka the Gutai Group, founded in 1954. Gutai artists often used the artists’ bodies as a tool or integrating both the body and tool in artistic practice. “The ubiquitous cameras have long surpassed the traditional notions where the camera is an extension of the human eye, in fact the camera has replaced the human eye,” Shi notes. The camera lens became the artist’s eyes, capturing his present moment, the texture within landscapes, the moving figures and so on, while in-camera images reveal a kind of eagerness to search for those moments passed, which, like fragments in the mind, have become mélange pictures, reverberating and flashing repeatedly. The work Die Nacht (The Night) bears a title from a German Lieder (art song) composed by Richard Strauss in 1885. The melodramatic singing accompanies this cinematic piece as well. Its lyrics come from a poem of the namesake title, written in 1864 by Austrian poet Hermann von Gilm. Sunlight shines through the glass window into the interior, briefly delineating the scene inside. Guided by light, the work presents how time flows away; the lights and shadows make our eyes feel warm with silky touches while also inducing our elegiac feelings from within. It’s a verse written with light and shadow, and time. Die Nacht, along with Gutai, Point of No Return Because the Sky Is Blue is displayed on the first floor. The three-channel video installation, Point of No Return, was created by an electronic signal processor to distort the original audiovisual images into abstract lines and patterns – “irreversible video modulation” as per Shi Wenhua. At the same time, the piece shows us that digital technology is leading us into a new but enigmatic world.
The immersive blue light illuminates the second floor, where two video installations are presented, Water Walk and Senses of Time. Water Walk was created when the artist revisited East Lake in Wuhan. The work tries to draw people’s attention to urban transformation and the problems resulting from radical city development. The sceneries shown on the screen are in stark contrast to those depicted in a children’s song from the artist’s childhood – it’s like “Unexpectedly the oceans and mountains have changed so much, beyond my recognition.” This piece was shot with two GoPro cameras mounted on boat paddles as they are rowed on East Lake, so that following the movements the audience repeatedly go into and out of the lake like a breathing pattern. By setting up an unconventional camera point of view, the artist subverts our accustomed watching/viewing experience, creating for us a familiar yet quite different perceptive experience. On the other hand, depicting more profoundly the lyrical and poetic passage of time, Senses of Time can be regarded the continuation of Gutai and Die Nacht. Flowing light, shadow and textures of landscapes still the centerpieces.
Shi Wenhua writes poems using image. Time is an important theme in many of his works, and light becomes his interpretation medium. He can always bring viewers into a contemplative space, together to lament upon the passage of time as well as the people and landscapes around, while also reflecting on the impact of progress and development on humans. It indeed takes a tranquil mind and deep contemplation to appreciate his work. Despite a smooth screen, the work allows us to touch, through visual and auditory senses, the undulating traces as well as feel the textures of landscapes. In the description of his works, Shi mentions many influential pioneering experimental artists, including Nam June Paik, Gary Hill, Jonas Mekas, Phil Solomon and the Japanese Gutai Group. He means to pay tribute to them while also drawing inspiration from the aesthetic of quintessential experimental imaging, for continuous exploration whether it be the creative method or cutting edge and obsolete media.
Bianca Lei, 2020/10
 “Let Us Row The Boat Together”, theme song of the 1955 movie “Flowers of the Motherland”, composed by Liu Chi, with lyrics by Qiao Yu
 “The Land Is Mine”, theme song of the 1980 Hong Kong TV drama series “The Land Is Mine”, composed by Joseph Koo, with lyrics by James Wong.
Sponsors：Instituto Cultural、Fundação Macau
Single Cyber Media Support：Beyond the Bay
related links: EXiM
curating: EXiM 2020 (i) — “Straightforward” – Works by Chen Qiang2020-09-17
Called the “2+1+2 Programme”, EXiM 2020 is kicked off with “Straightforward – Works by Chen Qiang” and “Heart to Heart – Experimental Video Exhibition”. Since 2018, EXiM has been presented in exhibition format instead of screening. Works will not merely be screened, but also be displayed via video installation. Doing so can better reflect the diversity in the creation of contemporary experimental moving images.
The exhibition “Straightforward” invites Chen Qiang, an artist from Chengdu, to display his three collections of works, namely “It’s Been a Lifetime Like a Dream”, “Reluctant Wandering”, “Everything Has a Spirit”. The first collection, “It’s Been a Lifetime Like a Dream”, consists of three silent and one sound 3D animation videos that form a piece of installation work, which shows a stark difference from the other two collections. It does not have a narrative plot, but is permeated with a sense of helplessness over the passage of time and dream-like fragmented images. The main visual composition of “Reluctant Wandering” is created with bright colour blocks or silhouettes that are minimal and a little coarse yet unconstrained, in a childlike graffiti style. These playful images show a sharp contrast to the heavy storyline, which describes people’s struggle, provocation and even confrontation with the spread of the virus, difficulties in life and the unfair system. Although the plot is absurd, it puts forward a straightforward, crude irony on the most real facet of reality. The four films in “Everything Has a Spirit” are all shot in a real life setting, but presented in the form of stop-motion animation, putting the work in a surreal space and time and rhythm of life. With the films telling story by personalizing foods and objects, and due to the small size of the objects, the shots are captured from non-human perspectives and most shots are low angle and close-ups, resulting in limited visual ranges that make the audience feel like having to bend down and even squat or crane the neck in order to closely look at the corners or trivial details in our everyday life. The works of this solo exhibition, just as Chen Qiang said, “reflect my thoughts about the living environment”.
Apart from appreciating works by Chen Qiang, exhibition goers can also visit “Heart to Heart – Experimental Video Exhibition” featuring Chinese experimental moving images curated by the artist on the second floor. The co-relation of the titles of the two exhibitions can reflect Chen Qiang’s selection preference of works, as he points out that “the two exhibitions are interrelated”. Chen Qiang himself designed the exhibition posters, with visual elements and exhibition titles having the flavor of early action movies made in Hong Kong. In fact, both Chen Qiang’s works and his curatorial ideas can let people have a feel into that kind of cherished brotherhood and camaraderie spirit upheld by the characters under confusing circumstances in those years in their turbulent world.
Bianca Lei, 2020/08
Sponsors：Instituto Cultural、Fundação Macau
Single Cyber Media Support：Beyond the Bay
related links: EXiM
exhibition: Uncertainties: PRD Post-pandemic Contemporary Art Exhibition2020-08-19
Section 1: Resisting Collective Amnesia to Create Certitude in Incertitude
Curator: Wang Jing (Shenzhen)
Artists: Huang Cheng (Guangzhou), Theater 44 (Guangzhou), Ge Li Guan Cha Xiao Zu (Guangdong)+Wu Laobai (Shenzhen)+Li Jiabao (San Francisco/Shenzhen)
Curator: He Junyan (Zhuhai)
Artists: Hundred Islands Project (He Junyan, Majing Ruoshui, Fan Guozhen)(Zhuhai), Hu Zuoqing (Zhuhai), Xu Fangzheng (Zhuhai), Sai Yin (Zhuhai/Macau)
Curator: Wu Jing (Shunde)
Artists: Liu Ke (Guangzhou), Deng Zijun (Guangzhou), Chen Yizhi (Guangzhou), Lin Yuqi (Fuzhou/Guangzhou)
Curator: Noah Ng (Macau)
Artists: yuenjie MARU (Hong Kong), Allen Wong Soi Lon (Macau), Bianca Lei (Macau), Huang Li Yan (Beijing/Guangzhou), Joaquim Franco (Macau)
Supports: Hundred Island Campsite (Zhuhai), Sabaki Space (Guangzhou), MOKIK Art Institution (Shenzhen)
Single Cyber Media Support: Beyond the Bay
WeChat Official Accounts: oxwarehousemacau
Curating:“The City in My Heart”— Creative Artwork Exhibition2018-10-13
An advert in July that talked about a quest of the best egg tart in Macao has drawn strong local reactions online. Many viewers, who became angry after watching it, left comments such as “that’s not Macao”, “Macao people aren’t like that” and “it doesn’t respect local culture”. Nativist awareness and a sense of identification with the city are again heightened in the wave of criticism. Meanwhile, some noted that “Macao people are not the target audience”.
In fact, the advert has also called to attention an issue that is plaguing Macao－overreliance on the development of its tourism and gaming industries. Since the liberalisation of its gaming industry, this originally small and tranquil city has been receiving tens of millions of tourists and reaping tremendous economic benefits every year. It has led Macao to transform in, 10 odd years, into “a glorious international metropolis”, with the reputation as a city of “wealth”. But behind the glory are plenty of social and livelihood problems－the ever increasing inflation rate and housing prices, visitor overload, worsening traffic conditions due to the endless road digging and the Light Rail Transit project that had gone on for over a decade with no guaranteed completion date－all severely impacted the quality of life of the locals. Typhoon Hato further exposed problems with the urban infrastructure last year, yet at the same time, it brought to mind the spirit of mutual help in time of adversity, something that seems to have been long forgotten among locals, and prompted the younger generations living in comfort to assume key roles in the disaster relief efforts.
So how is Macao now? Is it better or worse? Does it still belong to the locals, and how do those living in Macao respond to all that is said above?
Taking to the theme of the exhibition, “The City in My Heart”, a group of young creators will present the Macao that their eyes and hearts see, reflecting on issues resulting from the enclave’s rapid transformation in recent years, which can trigger complex emotions! Are they fascinated by the buzzing and glamourous Cotai Strip or those gambling games dubbed as wonderful entertainment? Or are they stuck in endless excavation works, congested traffic, and ever rising commodity and house prices? Do they indulge in nostalgia for the bygone simple people and world? Are they discontent? Do they feel helpless? Or just numb? Through this exhibition, visitors can have a glimpse of the new generation’s unique vision of their city, a place where they live, work, or study.
Curator: Bianca Lei, 2018
2 UP Studio (Energy LIO & Laurie PUN) | Lin Ge | Ella LEI
| Natalie PUN | Ai SIO Pui Ian | Sour Graphik | YANG Illustration
Kay CHEONG | Benny TANG | Tonny DENG | Esther HE | Cherry HUANG
| Doria LIN | Tina LOI | Shirley SOU | Mori XU
screening:“Taichaung International Animation Festival(TIAF) 2018”2018-10-11
participating works: the scar of my city : chapter 8
Program Director : C. Jay SHIH
Programme Panorama: Reality & Fanlasy – World in Motion:City Codes
Screening Schedule : 12/10/2018 10:00; 12/10/2018 21:20
The Dialectical Relationship between Fantasy and Reality
The Taichung International Animation Festival (TIAF) was established in 2015. Starting as a city film festival, it set up the International Competition and Taiwan Showcase as it marches onto the international stage to promote Taiwanese animation. Moreover, the Animated Short Projects’ Pitching Award is added to the award list this year, and the number of nominated Taiwanese films in competition has increased. This year we are very fortunate to have invited Baryon directed by Jo-Jo and Mo Monster and A Dog’s Life by Chang Yi as the opening and closing films respectively. We hope that it not only encourages Taiwanese filmmakers but demonstrates the vibrant creative energy in Taiwanese animation.
Overall, on top of raising the number and the quality of features and the films suitable for family viewing to attract local audience, we continue the “experimental and innovative” spirit from last year. As a result, we come up with the theme “Fantasy and Reality” this year and divide the program into several categories, including Director in Focus, Studio in Focus, Talents in Focus, Character Formula: Weird Things, World in Motion: City Code and New Angle: Animated Documentary. It is hoped that through these categories, the TIAF can offer the filmmakers as well as the public a more focused and enjoyable animation viewing experience.
“Fantasy” is one of the basic elements in art and has become a genre in literature. The narrow definition of the so-called “fantasy films” refers to those based on mythology, religious tales or folklore. Broadly speaking, fantasy films mean those override logic and science and are full of imagination that blurs the boundary between reality and imagination. The “Oriental Fantasy” and “Latin Fantasy” at the TIAF will give the audience a new understanding of the traditional role fantasy plays in animation and its modern new look.
Nevertheless, what is interesting is that in the past two decades, the possibility of making animated documentary has been discussed at the international animation forums. Many animators are no longer confined to fantasy. They begin to seek inspiration from the reality and have made animated documentaries. The New Angle: Animated Documentary at the TIAF will show the audience how animation could be used to reproduce reality.
Furthermore, we see that in many brilliant animated films, fantasy and reality are often mixed, and therefore we can say that while fantasy amazes us, the reality moves our hearts. I hope that this year’s program will not only make the audience’s imagination run wild but bring the world to them!
Program Director : C. Jay SHIH
exhibition:Women Artists 1st International Biennial of Macao2018-03-15
participating work: Faith in Fake ix — The shadow said: “…”
Women Artists 1st International Biennial of Macao is a joint initiative of the Macao SAR Cultural Bureau, the Macao Museum of Art and Albergue SCM.
In 2017, the Albergue SCM organised an exhibition entitled 28 + 28, where the works of 28 female artists from the Lusophone and Macao areas were held. Then it was announced the intention to launch the foundations of an international biennale of arts dedicated to women artists, starting on the symbolic date of 8th March, International Women’s Day. Hence the desire to give existence to an art exhibition practiced today by women artists from all over the world, and in particular the geographic and cultural space in which Macao is inserted.
Also in 2017, the Macao Museum of Art (MAM) presented, from the museum’s own heritage, an exhibition aimed at showing the evolution of the representation of women in the world of art, in an interdisciplinary approach, including painting, engraving, drawing and ceramics. The exhibition, Representing Women through MAM Collection – 19th and 20th Centuries, open between 30th June 2017 and 25th February 2018, presented more than 70 works and was the first part of an investigation that continued and was to be presented in another exhibition dedicated to women artists, not only existing in that collection, but opening the dialogue and participation to contemporary artists of particular relevance in the artistic scene of Macao, with inauguration scheduled for 2018.
In 2018, it was concluded that these two approaches, without prejudice to their differences of focus and processes, presented elements of complementarity that justified the congregation of efforts and resources. That is, it became clear that the whole resulting from a simultaneous presentation would turn out richer.
Thus, diverse visions were added to give rise to an exhibition with a larger scale and, we hope, greater social relevance, opening new paths for reflection.
The initiative thus combines two parts. On the one hand, works by 101 active artists and with an international curriculum. Diverse sensibilities and approaches invite for the knowledge of the living art as it is made today by women from various geographic and cultural origins and belonging to several generations – almost 60 years separate the oldest and the youngest.
On the other hand, around 40 works from the MAM, partially presenting the research work that the museum has developed on the contribution of pioneering women to Macao art history, organised by decade, from the 1970s to the present day, including large scale works of both their collection and invited artists. As a whole the exhibition features works by 132 women artists expressing themselves in a wide spectrum of techniques. On display are works of painting, silkscreen, drawing, sculpture, installation and video, carried out in a period that extends from the 1970s until now and coming from 22 countries and regions.
With this initiative, we hope to contribute to a greater visibility of women artists in the contemporary world, to a (re)discovery of the art of women who have played a socially and culturally significant role in Macao, China and Asia and to give voice to the various forms of being a woman, to the various understandings of the feminine, and to artistic practices that transcend gender differences, because, as Sonia Delaunay stated, “I never thought of myself consciously as a woman. I am an artist.”
related links: The Macao Museum of Art
TV programme: Farewell to Ox warehouse (only in Cantonese)2017-10-22
Our people, our life，episode 1590
related link：Farewell to Ox warehouse(in Cantonese)
Interview:《The Beginner’s Mind》works by AFA founders (AFA’s 10th Anniversary Special), (only in Cantonese)2017-09-20
Our people, Our life, episode 1572
TV programme link: 《The Beginner’s Mind》works by AFA founders (AFA’s 10th Anniversary Special), (in Cantonese)