The first Macau art graduates joint exhibition "Y Show" will take place between September 29 and October 2 at the Regency Art Hotel. The exhibition includes works from graduates of local higher education institutions such as the Macau Polytechnic Institute, the Macau University of Science and Technology and the University of St. Joseph, as well as several overseas participants. The organizer hopes to create a platform for local new generation designers and artists to show their talents and to exchange ideas with others in the industry. It also wants to enhance local residents' appreciation of art and design.
When explaining the name and purpose of the Y Show, Sabrina Ho Chiu Yeng, founder of the exhibition's organizing company Chiu Yeng Culture, said that the "Y" stands for "young and the new generation of design". It also stands for "why?", to represent the curiosity of the younger population.
Ms Ho notes that the universities and colleges in Macau usually organize their own student exhibitions separately, which limits the effect of promotion and the number of visitors. But in the Y Show, audiences can see up to 90 pieces of works by students from different institutions, with various categories from product design and visual arts to spatial and architecture design and digital media design.
Apart from the exhibition, the Y Show has also established an ‘Outstanding Award’ that seeks to applaud potential young talents and encourage them to join design-related industries. There are also forums and seminars allowing guests and participants to exchange ideas.
For the Award and the seminars, the organizer will invite several world-renowned designers to be the assessment committee members and guest speakers. Some of the big names include Katsumi Asaba, Jianping He and Fons Matthias Hickmann - all three are members of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.
Apart from Chiu Yeng Culture, the Y Show is also co-organized by Chiii Design. Mann Lao, the founder of Chiii Design, reveals that the 60 local graduates that will participate in this event were all chosen by the organizers or recommended by their universities and colleges. He also says that all the neighbouring cities around Macau already have their own joint exhibitions, except Macau. Therefore, he thinks someone had to take the initiative and organize the first such event for Macau.
Moreover, Mr Lao says he was actually surprised by the quality of the works by local students, after spending time to better understand them.
"Be it the University of St. Joseph or the City University of Macau, their section of industrial design deserves far more attention and should be known better. The same goes for the spatial and architectural designs of the Macau University of Science and Technology. They have some projects that are actually quite touching for me, because they provide solutions for some social issues," he says.
Mr Lao believes the purpose of design is to resolve problems for industries and society. For example, a designer should not only focus on the aesthetics of a chair, but should also consider the needs of different users such as those with disabilities.
"This is the true value of design. It is not to create a good-looking chair. That is meaningless. Aesthetics is only a basic matter. A designer should contemplate how they can provide their products with a purpose." He hopes that the Y Show will not only be a platform for exchanging ideas, but also an opportunity for local designers and artists to be noticed and appreciated by those from the business sector.