Committed to fostering the development of arts and culture in Macau, Galaxy Entertainment Group (“GEG”) has supported various local arts and cultural activities aimed at enriching Macau’s appeal as a cultural tourism destination and a World Center of Tourism and Leisure. Recently, the Galaxy Entertainment Group Foundation (“GEG Foundation”) unveiled the GalaxyArt Gallery, a permanent and non-profit exhibition space, which GEG hopes can be used for the hosting of different arts and cultural exhibitions throughout the year, and become a key platform to support its arts and cultural initiatives.
Located on the Promenade Shops at Galaxy Macau, GalaxyArt has launched its first exhibition “Juxtapose”, which runs until October 31. As a special exhibition of the 2nd “Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021”, “Juxtapose” features a series of giant metal sculptures that reflects on Macau’s long-standing customs, history and culture.
Earlier, an opening ceremony was held to mark the beginning of GalaxyArt. In his speech, Mr. Philip Cheng, Director of GEG, said that GEG is honored to present the “Juxtapose” exhibition, participate in the Macau SAR Government’s “Art Macao”, and to have opened the brand-new art gallery for local residents and tourists. He said, “GalaxyArt is another testament of GEG’s unwavering commitment to promote arts and cultural development in Macau. As a world-class integrated resort operator, GEG hopes that by participating in ‘Art Macao’, we can help the Macau SAR Government promote the cross-sectoral integration of tourism and arts, attract more tourists to enjoy Macau’s diversified tourism experiences, and support the economy and tourism industry on its gradual recovery.”
Following the “Juxtapose” exhibition, GalaxyArt will continue to hold thematic art and cultural exhibitions and present different cultural and artistic experiences to the public for free. Over the years, GEG has been actively promoting the community’s interests in local arts and cultural exchanges, and rolled out different initiatives through the GEG Foundation in hopes of facilitating the development of arts and culture, including the GEG Arts & Cultural Initiative, the GEG Intangible Cultural Heritage Scheme and the GEG Chinese Music Promotion Scheme.
“Juxtapose” presents 11 life-size steel rod sculptures by Malaysian artist, Mr. Tang Mun Kian. The artistic and witty drawings depict Macau’s tangible and intangible cultural heritages, celebrating its unique history, people and places. His approach is merging visual journal with comic narrative and transforming those ideas into steel drawings, hence the name “Stories in Steel”.
Mr. Tang has worked closely with GEG Foundation to showcase Macau’s historic and cultural charms through these metal sculptures after learning of GEG Foundation’s values and missions. He said, “It was a great pleasure to work with GEG Foundation, who was very supportive and involved in every stage from the initial concept to the final installation,” adding that he appreciates the efforts made by GEG Foundation by setting up a permanent arts and cultural space in commercial premises to engage the public on the importance of arts and culture.
Mr. Tang explained, “The topics for ‘Juxtapose’ cover the diverse cultural and artistic characteristics of Macau – from iconic monuments like the Ruins of St. Paul Church to the forgotten trades like ‘Naamyam singers’, ‘boatmaker’ and ‘firecrackers’. The exhibition showcases Macau’s rich heritage to the public, helps recall their fond memories, and raises awareness to the importance of cultural heritage conservation and preservation. As people say, our future depends on how we understand the past.” According to Mr. Tang, the 3D wall-hanging installations of “Juxtapose” provide caricatures of memories and the soul of the old city. He believes that the fun, amusing, and easy-to-understand sculptures will interact with viewers of all ages.
To encourage children on exploring Macau’s history, culture and artistic interests in an entertaining and innovative way, GalaxyArt will arrange a series of workshops for children ages 5 to 12 this summer, including storytelling by its collaborator, the Oral History Association of Macao, and handicraft sessions where children can make and bring home their own artwork as a souvenir. The workshops are part of the exhibition’s extension program and are based on topics related to Macau’s heritage and historic landmarks.
Ms. Evi Ian from the Oral History Association said the association is honored to have the opportunity to cooperate with GalaxyArt on introducing Macau’s history and culture to the public in this innovative way. “During storytelling, we will share the oral history and stories that are related to the ‘Juxtapose’ exhibits, including the personal experiences, feelings and anecdotes of those engaged in these historical activities. Doing so will enable our participants, especially children, to have a more comprehensive understanding of the meaning behind these cultural activities,” she said, believing that this will also help promote the importance of conservation of our city’s cultural heritage.
Engaging the Community
Upholding its philosophy of “what is taken from the community to be used for the good of the community”, GEG also organized family visits and workshops for local social service associations. On the day after the exhibitions’ opening, GEG invited families from the Bosco Youth Service Network (“BYS”) for a guided tour of the exhibition and to take part in a workshop. During the handcraft session, the participants shared the joy of arts while being taught how to make a drunk dragon using pipe cleaners.
Ms. Gigi Wong from the BYS said, “The exhibition has allowed the participating families to view artworks up close and to learn about Macau’s history and unique cultural activities. It has broadened their horizons, enhanced their understanding of Macau’s cultural diversity and cultivated their sense of art appreciation. We thank GEG for providing such a great opportunity for local service associations.” Moreover, the participating parents also shared that the visit to GalaxyArt was very fruitful. It has helped both parents and children to learn more about the city and understand the importance of preserving culture and heritage.