Six months after its official creation, the Times spoke to the president of the Macau Guia Circuit Promotion and Development Association (APDCGM) to get an update on the goals set by the association when it was founded.
To commemorate its first six months of existence as well as new developments, the association also held an exhibition designed by its chairman, a self-confessed fan of the Macau Grand Prix and an avid connoisseur of the arts, mostly through photography and painting.
Macau Daily Times (MDT) – Could you give us a brief summary of the most significant moments in the first few months of the APDCGM’s existence?
José Luís Estorninho (JLE) – The association was created in April this year, and precisely on November 18 (the day that the “Pole Position” exhibition started) celebrated six months. As you may understand, the first months are always complicated. There is a lot to do regarding the bureaucratic procedures and paperwork. We need to have simple but necessary things done, like setting up a temporary address for headquarters, making name cards and talking with a lot of people. All these things are time-consuming and have low visibility to outsiders but they are very important.
MDT – Can you explain a little more about the “Pole Position” exhibition that marked the APDCGM’s first milestone?
JLE – This exhibition has been on display from November 18 and for one week, we displayed [a variety of] artworks, including some never before seen. According to viewers, some of these pieces, done in mixed media, were very pleasing and received good reviews. The exhibition itself is one of our planned activities, with the purpose of promoting the association itself: to be known to the public, the Guia Circuit (our main goal) and of course always grounded in passing on the message about the biggest sporting event in Macau through photography. Not only that, we had oil and mixed techniques as well as a ceramic piece, all presenting the dichotomy of art and sport. Fortunately the exhibition went quite well. We have to mention the support of the venue, The Venetian Macao, which helped a lot in providing us with a space that allowed a large number of passers-by to see and to participate in the event.
MDT – What other works were developed under this plan?
JLE – For this year, we also made a few contacts, mostly with public entities and namely, the ones involved with the organization of the Grand Prix. So we had the privilege of meeting with the organizing committee and the opportunity to discuss possible future collaborations.
MDT – Besides artistic value and promotional purposes, does the exhibition also serve charitable purposes?
JLE – Yes, it is true. We decided to make this an opportunity to help those in need and at this time, we decided to support the Rehabilitation Centre for the Blind. It is part of the Macau Holy House of Mercy, an institution that has many years of history in helping the needy. Although the exhibition is over we are still in the process of selling some of the items that were exhibited, in order to collect funds that will proceed to that institution. We expect that society and also private companies can join us in this opportunity to contribute.
MDT – What is your bigger goal for the moment? What concerns you the most regarding the association?
JLE – I would say definitely the lack of a proper headquarters, a physical space, and a venue where members can gather and initiate a real discussion about the topics [at hand] and where we can effectively work together. Sponsorship and budgeting are also concerns that require some time and dedication as well as preparation and experience. Regarding the headquarters, the association is requesting some help from the government regarding a space to establish ourselves, because by our own means, this is almost impossible. For the coming year, we are also planning contacts with other [similar] associations beyond Macau in order to establish an international network of contacts that could help us solve problems or help others with our expertise.
MDT – You stated your main goal was the need for the “preservation of the Guia Circuit.” Do you think the circuit is at risk?
JLE – We do believe that there are always risks but most importantly, we want to pass on the message that the circuit will have to be seen as a cultural heritage item of Macau. In that sense we think it is necessary to preserve all of its original features as much as possible. We also recall that around the circuit, there are also other heritage items, and our purpose is to preserve those too.
MDT – Last year, much was said about the renovation of the Grand Prix Museum. What is the APDCGM’s position on this matter?
JLE – If I’m not wrong, the current museum was built in 1993 and we are now in 2016. A lot of things happened in this period and there were many evolutions along the way. On our own initiative, we are not really in a position at the moment to come and suggest things. But we have people with the know-how, experience and ideas to provide grounded opinions, and in case the people in charge of such a renovation ask, we would be very happy to cooperate on the matter.