Cultural Focus

“Chapas Sínicas – Stories of Macao in Torre do Tombo” exhibition
The first edition of “Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival

The first edition of “Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries” in July concentrates a program that includes arts, cinema, and cultural exhibitions, with music, dance and talks. In future, the event is expected to include a section devoted to literature, said the president of the Cultural Institute, Mok Ian Ian.

The “Chapas Sínicas – Stories of Macao in Torre do Tombo” exhibition, inaugurated on July 6, is one of the highlights of the first edition of “Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries”. Mok Ian Ian, president of the Cultural Institute (IC), said that the Arts and Culture Festival, which has a budget of MOP28 million, comes in response to "the national policies and the directives of the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, announced in 2016, "which proposed the establishment of a" Cultural Exchange Center between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries" in Macau. The plan is to "organize this event annually," added Mok Ian Ian, who considered including literature in future editions, adding that the IC's intention is to continue "enriching the festival with more cultural activities."

“Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries” includes five major events, a film festival, which will take place between 30 June and 13 July, live shows on 6 July, a cultural forum, on the 6th and 7th, the annual arts exhibition between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries, which opens on 8 July and runs until 9 September, as well as the exhibition, talk and the issuance of Chapas Sínicas commemorative stamps, which runs through several phases until December.

Included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in October 2017, following a joint candidature by Archives of Macao and the National Archive of Torre do Tombo of Portugal, the Chapas Sínicas collection documents Portuguese permanence in Macao and negotiations with the Chinese empire during the Qing Dynasty between 1693 and 1886. Through images and documents, the exhibition helps "build a living portrait of Macau", said the IC president.

The cultural forum is an event dedicated to "cultural diversity", which will bring together speakers and experts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Portuguese-speaking countries on 7 and 8 July. Speakers such as Jiang Bo from Beijing will speak on "From Quanzhou to the Persian Gulf: Ethnicity and Religion along the Silk Sea Route," and Emanuel Baboco from Angola presents a lecture on "Overview of Angolan Cultural Diversity: Culture, People and Languages ​​".  

From Brazil, historian Kátia Santos Bogéa will address the "Cultural Heritage of Brazil: Diversity, Identity and Memory", from Mozambique comes Alexandre António, addressing "The Role of Cultural Diversity in Sustainable Tourism Development in Mozambique".

There are also speakers from Cape Verde, Hamilton Fernandes, and from Guinea Bissau, Fernando Teixeira, from Portugal is Ana Paula Ramalho Amendoeira, from Timor-Leste, Cecília Assis, and from São Tomé and Príncipe will be present Maria Nazaré Ceita. Architects Carlos Marreiros and Maria José Freitas will discuss themes related to Macau.

Arts and Culture Festival will include literature

The first edition of “Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries” does not yet include a section devoted to literature in its programming, but next year the IC intends to invite authors and address works by award winning writers, according to Mok Ian Ian. "For this edition we did not invite writers from Portuguese-speaking countries, perhaps in the next editions, perhaps next year, from Portugal, for example, we are considering including works by writers who have won the Nobel Prize," said the IC president, referring writer José Saramago.

Asked about the possibility of the “Encounter in Macao” festival overlapping with the Macao Literary Festival - Rota das Letras, which has been running since 2012, the IC president stated that the two events are distinct and organized by different entities and that the literature section at this Arts and Cultural Festival between China and the Portuguese Language Countries "is only a part" of the overall event. .

Mok Ian Ian concluded by stating that “Macau is the centre of amalgamation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries” and that "both the  Arts and Culture Festival and the Script Road Festival are an effort on all parts".

The cultural event includes performances by groups and artists from eight Portuguese-speaking countries and Gansu Province.

Film Festival: Macau on the screen from 1923 to 2015

The China and Portuguese-speaking Countries Film Festival, starting on June 30, running until July 13, is one of the highlights of the first edition of “Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival” which intends to present "the latest cinematographic developments in China and Portuguese speaking countries, as well as the unique history of cinema in Macau."

The festival opens with the 2017 film by Chinese director Xin Yukun, "Wrath of Silence", on July 3 at 8pm in the Small Auditorium of the Macao Cultural Center. The work was honoured at the Macao International Film & Film Festival with the Special Jury Award and Best Actor Award.

The event includes two films by director Manoel de Oliveira. The restored versions of the first feature film by the Portuguese filmmaker, "Aniki-Bóbó", and the documentary "Douro, Faina Fluvial", will close the film festival on 13 July.

The festival features 23 screenings of 24 films in three sections, namely “Films in Chinese”, “Films in Portuguese” and “Images, Macao”, at Cinemateca Paixão. In addition to "Wrath of Silence" the Festival’s programme also includes three modern Chinese films, nine recent productions shot in Portuguese-speaking countries such as Portugal, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and other countries in Southern Africa, as well as nine films in Chinese and Portuguese shot in Macau between 1923 and 2015.

"Macau - Progressive and Monumental City" by M. Antunes Amor, is the 1923 film that will be presented at a session on July 8 at 2:30 p.m., along with other works about Macau from the 1950s and 1960s by Ricardo Malheiro and Miguel Spiguel. At 7:30 p.m., "O Estrangeiro" (2009) by Ivo M. Ferreira, "350 Meters" (2008) by Fernando Eloy and "INA" (2015) by António Caetano Faria will be screened. On the same day, in the evening session, "A Última vez que vi Macau" by João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata will screen.

"Tabu" by Miguel Gomes, a black and white 2012 feature film, awarded at various festivals, is presented on June 30 and July 11. "Fábrica do Nada", a 2017 film by Pedro Pinho is shown on July 1 and 7. "Djon África", a co-production between Portugal, Brazil and Cape Verde by João Miller Guerra and Filipa Reis, will make its Asian debut in Macau with sessions on July 4 and 12. Many other films complete the fesitval lineup.

The "multiple facets of contemporary art"

The first edition of “Encounter in Macao – Arts and Cultural Festival between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries” also includes the “Annual Arts Exhibition between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries” presents four thematic contemporary art exhibitions, namely Alter Ego, The Universe, Penetrate and Aiya. The exhibitions will be open to the public between 8 July and 9 September.

According to the Cultural Institute, the first edition of this exhibition is dedicated to the "multiple facets of contemporary art" and includes works representative of Mainland China, the special regions of Macau and Hong Kong, and the eight Portuguese-speaking countries, Angola , Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor-Leste.

The founders of  "Underdogs" gallery - Alexandre Farto, known as Vhils, and Pauline Foessel are the "Alter Ego" exhibition curators. The works of 27 artists from the eight Portuguese-speaking countries will be shown divided into six other exhibitions, spread across different spaces in the city.

"Deepening" curated by Macau artist James Chu, brings together works by well established artists in Macau such as Cai Guo Jie, Peng Yun, Wong Weng Io, Zhang Ke and Nick Tai.

Artist Jose Drummond curates "Aiya", alongside works of artists established in the territory such as Fortes Pakeong Sequeira, João Miguel Barros, Joaquim Franco, Rui Rasquinho and Yves Etienne Sonolet.

Curated by Feng Boyi and Wang Xiaosong, the exhibition "The Universe" will bring together works by seven Chinese artists.