A Meeting of Minds
In March, Macau is privileged to welcome a wide array of talented authors from around the world
Every year in March, Macau is privileged to welcome a wide array of talented authors from around the world, and particularly from China and Lusophone countries, for The Script Road – Macau Literary Festival. Returning for its seventh edition this year, the Festival will once again present a fascinating line up of more than 60 authors, journalists, poets and translators, as well as artists, filmmakers and musicians.
Old Court Building
Leslie T. Chang compares the experiences of women factory workers in two very different parts of the world
Peter Hessler has been telling the story of the human side of China’s economic revolution for over 20 years
In our increasingly small and multilingual world, the role of translators in literary circles is a crucial one, ensuring that great works are made accessible to the widest possible audiences. This year’s Macau Literary Festival welcomes four renowned translators to speak to audiences about the challenges and rewards of their work.
Nicky Harman is based in the UK, and translates fiction, and occasionally non-fiction and poetry from Chinese. Authors she has translated include: A Yi (Forthcoming), Chan Koon-chung (The Unbearable Dreamworld of Champa the Driver), Chen Xiwo (Book of Sins), Han Dong (A Phone Call from Dalian: Collected Poems), Jia Pingwa (Happy Dreams), Dorothy Tse(Snow and Shadow), Xinran (Letter from an Unknown Chinese Mother), Xu Xiaobin (Crystal Wedding), Xu Zhiyuan (Paper Tiger), and Yan Ge (The Chili Bean Paste Clan). She received the Mao Tai Cup People’s Literature prize 2015 and won the China International Translation Contest 2013. She actively promotes Chinese fiction to the general English-language reader, running literary events, writing blogs, and giving talks. She also mentors new translators, teaches summer schools, and judges translation competitions. She tweets as the China Fiction Bookclub @cfbcuk and is active on the Chinese literary translation website, Paper-Republic.org, and the short story project, READ PAPER REPUBLIC. She will attend The Script Road and speak at a session together with Chinese author Han Dong, whom she has translated for.
Austin Woerner is a Chinese-English literary translator. In addition to the novel The Invisible Valley by Su Wei, he has translated two poetry books: Doubled Shadows: Selected Poetry of Ouyang Jianghe, and Phoenix. He was also the editor of the English translation for the Chinese literary journal Chutzpah !. Together with Ou Ning, he co-edited the anthology of fiction Chutzpah !: New Voices from China. He holds a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Yale University, a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the New School, and is currently a professor at Duke Kunshan University. Austin Woerner will join author Su Wei for a open session at this year’s The Script Road.
Wolfgang KUBIN is a sinologue, translator and author, originally from Germany. After “retiring” from Bonn University (he is still life-long professor there) he is now Senior Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University and at Shantou University. History of Chinese Literature in Ten volumes (German / Chinese) is just one of his many academic books. As translator, he has published the works of dozens of modern and contemporary Chinese poets. He also writes his own poems, essays and narratives. Writing in German and Chinese, his literary works (about 20) include many poems, essays and stories which deal with Macau.
Jeremy Tiang is the author of the novel State of Emergency and the short story collection It Never Rains on National Day (shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize). He has translated more than ten books from Chinese, including novels by Zhang Yueran, Yeng Pway Ngon, Chan Ho-Kei and Tianxia Bachang, and is the recipient of an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship, a Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship, and the People’s Literature Prize Mao Tai Cup for Translation. Jeremy’s work as a playwright includes A Dream of Red Pavilions (adapated from the novel by Cao Xueqin) and The Last Days of Limehouse, as well as translations of plays by Wei Yu-Chia, Xu Nuo and Han Lao Da. He currently lives in Brooklyn.
Folk singer and poet, Zhou Yunpeng was born in 1970, Shenyang, Liaoning, and became blind at the age of 9. When he was 10, he went to Shenyang Blind Children School, and then to the Special Education Institute in Changchun University (1991), majoring in Chinese Language. After graduating, he moved to Beijing and began his singing career. He has released several albums: The Breath Silent as a Secret (2004), Chinese Kids (2007), Fried Bitter Cucumber (2008), Cattle and Sheep Down From the Mountain (2010) and Old Town in April (2014). He is also the author of books such as Spring Blame (2010), Green Train (2011) and Get up to Listen to the Silence at Midnight (2017). In 2011, he was awarded the “Best Folk Singer” and “Best Lyric Writer” by Chinese Media Music, and his poem ‘The Wordless Love’ was considered the “Best Poem” by People Literature magazine. He also took part in the film Detective Hunter Zhang and performed on its soundtrack - the film won the Best Film award at the Golden Horse Film Festival (Taiwan). In 2017, he wrote the soundtrack of the film One Night on the Wharf.
JP Simões /BLOOM
Bloom is the new pseudonym of JP Simões, a singer and Portuguese composer, who has been involved in several projects such as Pop dell’Arte, Belle Chase Hotel, Quinteto Tati and lately has been working solo. The search for a new sound has taken him on musical paths very different from his usual work. Tremble like a Flower is the name of his first solo album that crosses folk and blues in psychedelic landscapes. He will perform songs from the album in a duet with musician, composer and producer Miguel Nicolau at The Script Road - Macau Literary Festival.
She believes music and oxygen have the same vital importance. Songs and records have always inhabited, more than anything else, her life. Sharing music has always been one of her communication tools. First, the piano, since childhood, then, radio at 16, and later her first spontaneous attempts in the art of spinning the right record at the right moment. Without a plan or chartered course. Passions take us by storm and, despite never imagining she could become a DJ, Selecta Alice is one of the promoters and pioneers of getting World Music in DJ sets in Portugal. Curator of the Sacred Fire stage at Boom Festival, in her sets Selecta Alice pays tribute to the culture of partying and celebrating life through music and the ritual of dance. The rhythms of Africa, Latin America, the Balkans and India are mandatory stops in her sound travels around the world. Worldbeat – world music in its pure state or in fusion with electronic language, shared in live sets or in monthly shows at Rádio Groovalizacion and at Rádio Quântica.
RITA AZEVEDO GOMES
The film was inspired by the letters exchanged between two leading Portuguese poets, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen and Jorge de Sena, during the exile of the latter (1957-78). Through their poetry and their letters, the film builds a dialogue between longing and belonging, the “desire to fill years of distance with hours of conversation”. At the same time, it establishes a correspondence with our own lives fictionalized under the ties and entanglements that hold us together.
The Revenge of a Woman
An episode that happened in Roberto’s life - one of those men to whom simulation is their biggest craft. A dandy some might say. A lecher others will say. In any case, he is impassive, indecipherable… thus enigmatic! But the truth is, deep down inside, Roberto is feeling a profound sense of boredom. The boredom of someone who has already used up all the pleasures of this life. The only thing capable of amazing him is the fact that nothing no longer amazes him.
In the autumn of 2002, a poet who has never been away on a business trip decides to take himself to Xinjiang, 4000 kilometers away. Completely alone, he travels by many different modes of transportation and stays in the cheapest motels, encountering mountains, forests, lakes, deserts, and national borders along the way. Seemingly aimless, he seeks scenic places and prostitutes, and during his solitary and absurd travels, he finds himself constantly shifting between landscapes and bodies. On the road, he composes sixteen poems....
This film was shot in September of 2002, when director Ju Anqi accompanied the poet Hou Xianbo on the train from Beijing to Xinjiang, 4000 kilometers away. With very little money and equipment, they used a digital video camera to shoot for 40 days whilst they crossed the whole of Xinjiang. The only independent film to come out of Xinjiang, providing an unsentimental yet melancholy glimpse of a country in transition and a mirror for the existential irreversibility of time.
on a business trip
At the Dock
The poets are not martyrs or clowns; they are neither suicidal nor murderers. One Night on the Wharf subversively revives the image of contemporary poets in reality, discarding the quirky and strange images. Four poets who can barely stand out in the crowd experience a bizarre night. Stranded in the town at the wharf, they get involved in a ruthless struggle with the local ruffians.
The work of Portuguese visual artist António-Pedro, a resident of Macau from 1994 to 1997, focuses on music, cinema and the performing arts. He has composed music for Portuguese film directors including Ivo M. Ferreira and Margarida Leitão, and for shows by Vera Mantero, O Bando and Teatro Meridional. He has also worked with such musicians and singers as João Afonso and Camané, and with various theatre companies, among them Artistas Unidos. With Ivo M. Ferreira he co-directed O homem da bicicleta – Diário de Macau (awarded Best Documentary at the Caminhos do Cinema Português film festival, 1999). He has also authored shorts including Filme-Aperitivo and Pequeno Grande C, and the music video Truz-Truz, and has collaborated on Sopa nuvem – um thriller gastronómico, Filmes Pedidos and Poemas para Bocas Pequenas. He is co-director of Companhia Caótica, with which he seeks to connect cinema, music and the performing arts with expanded cinema projects (video art).
My Macau is a video–performance set somewhere between the past and the present. In 1997 António-Pedro leaves Macau after debuting O homem da bicicleta: Diário de Macau, a fictional documentary that concludes with a dedication: “From Macau, with love”. After his departure, the Macau he had lived in, the one he knew and loved deeply, remains with him. With the passing of time, António-Pedro hears reports of the city’s incessant transformation, and he realises he is still connected to a place that no longer exists. He accepts the fact that the city will become a memory, one to which he can never return. Today, 20 years later, António-Pedro is back, and he is drawn into 21st century Macau, while still carrying with him all the memories of the past - of his Macau.
TSR 2018 IMAGE
Culture saving us from the violence of war
Afonso Cruz, illustrator, writer, director and musician, and winner of the 2014 National Award for Illustration, is the creator of the official image for the 7th edition of The Script Road-Macau Literary Festival. He has illustrated several children´s books with his very distinct strokes that come from a profound reflection and analytical criticism of society. This year’s festival image sends the message that culture is a safe harbour where different people and ideologies can reach agreement.
Rui Paiva hails from Mozambique and has degree in Economics from Lisbon University. He was a teacher between 1976 and 1979 in Lisbon, and then departed for Macau. He did a post-graduate in Modern China, and was the President of the Fiscal Council of China Observatory and member of the Consultative Council of Lisbon Confucius Institute. Between 1984 and 1986, he attended the National Society of Fine Arts, Lisbon, and painter João Vieira was his supervisor. He was director and president of the fiscal council of the National Society of Fine Arts, between 2003 and 2015. He worked in the banking sector and at the same time manages to pursue a consistent artistic career, participating actively since 1988 in solo and collective exhibitions in Portugal, Macau, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. He has illustrated books of Macau poets, having published an illustration book in 1982. In 2017, he published Nuvem Branca (White Cloud), a life and artist book.
João Ó lives and works in Macau. Trained as an architect, he approaches installation from a perspective of spatial composition and visual utility, negotiating personal identities in a post-colonial space, through urbanism and environmental engineering. After graduating in Architecture in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Lisbon, he got a master degree with distinction at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, where he studied Architecture and Urban Culture. João Ó is an architect and artist with awards won in both fields, having represented Macau twice at Venice biennales, in art and architecture, respectively in 2009 and 2014. Together with his partner Rita Machado, he founded Impromptu Projects Ltd (2013), a multidiscipline internationally awarded studio practice, focusing on drawing ephemeral structures, as well as in studying its social relevance. In 2015, he was appointed as curator of the newly-opened Taipa Village Art Space and he is a visiting professor at the Department of Architecture, Faculty of Creative Industries, at the University of Saint Joseph.
Chen Yu is a freelance painter, now living in Songzhuang, Beijing. He was born in Leizhou, Guangdong Province in 1975 and graduated with a master degree from the Oil Painting Department, Guangzhou College of Fine Arts in 2008. He has held many solo exhibitions including Other Mountains: Chen Yu’s Hill Stone Exhibitions (Beijing, 2017), Chen Yu: Poet Portrait Exhibitions (Guangzhou, 2017), and Chen Yu’s Oil Painting Exhibitions (Macau, 2012). He has also participated in some collaborative exhibitions, such as Micro Art Exhibitions and China-Korea International Art Exchange Exhibitions held in Beijing in 2015; Self-portrait Exhibitions and Everyone Art Oil Painting Exhibitions held in Beijing in 2013; The First Cultural-Ocean Art Highlands Exhibitions and Hong Kong First International Chinese Oil Painting Exhibitions held in Guangzhou in 2012, among others.