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