Macao Arts Festival 2016 – My Experience

Early May this year, I was at Macao for the Macao Arts Festival 2016. This year is the 27th Macao Arts Festival and the theme is “Reshape Your Imagination. Experience the Spirit of the Time.”

The Macao Arts Festival 2016 divided the programme into 7 distinctive categories, namely:

  1. “Thematic Highlights”
  2. “Groundbreakers”
  3. “Cross-Disciplinary Creations”
  4. “Family Entertainment”
  5. “Quintessence of Tradition”
  6. “Concerts”
  7. “Exhibitions”

I was at Macao for a few days and managed to visit a few art galleries and experience a mini-theatre (which was my favourite, by the way!) there.

Micro-Shakespeare Theatre

Macao Arts Festival 2016

Macao Arts Festival 2016

Located opposite the Old Court Building, I must say that the Micro-Shakespeare Theatre was one of my favourite part of my Macao Arts Festival 2016 trip.

When we arrived at the location, there weren’t so many people there. At first, me and the others were quite perplexed seeing 5 mini box-theatres placed in a line. The boxes were like real stages, with curtain, spotlight (mini too, mind you) and different stage patterns.

Then, we were asked to participate. How?

We were assigned to either be the “spectator” behind the box-theatre or the “spectators” in front of the box-theatre watching the show. Everyone is given a headphone. The “spectator” behind the box-theatre has to do exactly what the voice through the headphone tell him while the “spectators” in front of the box-theatre will listen to the story and enjoy the “actors” moved by the “spectator” on the stage.

Do you get what I mean?

Simply said, our “actors” were props such as brushes, comb, confetti, lighter, flower and such things, as we enjoy the story.

I guess you’ll have to experience it to really appreciate it. I think, even with instructions told through the headphone, it takes a little skill to be the one behind the box. However, it is certainly fun being in front of the box!

The 8-minute box-theatres condense five classics of William Shakespeare which includes, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Edgar Degas : Figures in Motion hosts by MGM Macao Hotel

The Edgar Degas : Figures in Motion was one of the art displays for the Macao Arts Festival 2016 which was housed at MGM Art Space. The art display is part of Le French May’s highlight program presenting Degas’ 74 sculptures for the first time ever in Asia.

Edgar Degas (born Edgar De Gas) comes from a moderately wealthy family in Paris. He changed his name to Degas when he was 11, saying that he didn’t like the pretentious spelling of his real name. He graduated with baccalaureat in literature before continuing to study law, following his father’s plans.

He didn’t care for studies much and was admitted to Ecole des Beaux-Arts before traveling to Italy and staying there for 3 years. Here is where he flourished. He painted copies after Michaelangelo, Raphael, Titian and other Renaissance artists. He became accomplished in techniques of high, academic and classical art.

Degas’ displays are of his three favourite subjects which are: horses, dancers and bathing women – all in different positions.

Of course, there’s also his famous sculpture, the Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen.

The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen

The Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen

Edgar Degas’ sculptures will be displayed at MGM Art Space from now until end of November 2016.

Charles Chauderlot – Ink Wash of the Forbidden City

Macao Arts Festival 2016

Charles Chauderlot – Ink Wash of the Forbidden City showcases 81 ink wash paintings that depicts the scenery of the Palace Museum and revealing the unique beauty of the Forbidden City from a Wester painter’s standpoint.

Charles Chauderlot was born in Madrid in 1952 into a French-Spanish family. In 1963, he studied painting at Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux.  In 1970 to 1975 he was offered a double major degree in Law and Politics at University of Bordeaux. In 1990, he engaged in arts full time.

In 1997, Charles settled in China and abandoned techniques of Western colour painting, preferring to use Chinese brush and ink. He successfully mingled Western techniques of perspective drawings with the Chinese ‘blank-leaving’ painting concept. He is also the first foreigner permitted by the Palace Museum, Beijing, to enter the restricted area of the Forbidden City to paint between 2002 to 2004.

Why 81 ink wash paintings?

It is identical to the 81 golden doornails on the gate of the Forbidden City. 81 doornails symbolises masculinity (Yang) which were the ornaments exclusively used by the majestic emperors of the past.

This is definitely one of the many unique paintings you can find on the Macao Arts Festival 2016.

Held from: 8 Oct 2015 - 16 April 2017
Time: 10am - 7pm (no admitance after 6.30pm, closed on Mondays)
Location: 3rd Floor, Gallery of Historical Paintings, Macao Museum of Art
Fee: MOP5 (free on Sundays and Macao public holidays)
Phone: +853 8791 9814

Macao Annual Visual Arts Exhibition 2016

Located within the walls of the Old Court Building, the Macao Annual Visual Arts Exhibition 2016 – Western Media Category was officially opened on 13th May.

Macao Arts Festival 2016

The final thing my friends and I witnessed for the Macao Arts Festival 2016 was the ribbon cutting ceremony that were officiated by Alexis Tam Chon Weng, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture; Sun Da, Deputy Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR; Pan Yundong, Deputy Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR; Ung Vai Meng, President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau and Mio Pang Fei, veteran Macao artist.

The exhibit this time is dedicated to Western media with 361 works in total submitted but only 83 artworks were selected by experienced juries.

There were many artwork on display – abstract, sculpture, paintings, mixed media, and many more.

For those without the artistic eye, you may find quite overwhelmed with some of the arts available for display while those who appreciate arts will definitely find a reason to return to this building for inspiration.

Held from: 14 May - 7 August 
Time: Open daily 10am - 8pm, including public holidays. Closed on Mondays)
Location: Old Court Building
Fee: Free
Phone: 8988 4000