Sands China nurtures emerging artists in new exhibition at Sands Gallery

Sands China has been championing young artists by providing opportunities for them to grow their crafts, by showcasing their works, and by hosting initiatives for these artists to emerge – as part of the company’s support of Macau’s integration into the national development plan.

With the goal of establishing a platform for young artists – especially local ones – Sands China is boosting its efforts to cultivate an environment that nurtures creativity and art appreciation in Macau.

In line with this goal, Sands China has unveiled “Illumination – Zhaoying Zhang & Sisi Wong Dual Solo Exhibition” as Sands Gallery’s first exhibition of 2023 at The Grand Suites at Four Seasons.

Artists Zhaoying Zhang and Sisi Wong were the first-prize winners in the painting and photography categories, respectively, in the “Time is on My Side – 2021 Greater Bay Area Young Artists Scheme – A Competition of Painting & Photography” launched by Sands China in support of the government’s Art Macao event series.

The new Illumination exhibition is part of Sands China’s goal to enhance extensive exchange and cooperation among local and international art talent as Sands Gallery showcases the works of professional artists in Macau and across the region – in a bid to bring a greater diversity of experiences to the city, while promoting and encouraging the diversification of art and culture in Macao.

Dr. Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd., said: “Through presenting this exhibition, we hope to foster art appreciation among visitors, inspire local artists, bolster the vibrant growth of Macao’s cultural and creative industries, and help boost artistic exchange between artists in the Greater Bay Area.”

For Dr. Wong, the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has “endowed the city with a new mission of the times to establish itself as ‘a multicultural exchange and cooperation base with an emphasis on Chinese culture.’”

The international enterprise expects more visitors to enter the region as borders have reopened, and while there is a wide variety in the character of visitors, Sands Gallery is currently focusing on contemporary art that should be able to play to the taste of some of these new visitors.

Illumination – Zhaoying Zhang & Sisi Wong Dual Solo Exhibition has a reference to “intensity of illumination,” a term that describes a given amount of light; the exhibition showcases nearly 60 magnificent works of diverse art forms and media including oil painting, sculpture, installations, photography and projection.

It probes into the cultural connotations of light through the exhibits, and explores, from the perspective of technique, how the artists interpret the diverse aspects of the artworks using light.

According to the exhibition curator, Professor Hu Bin, the juxtaposition of the two artists’ works not only presents their contrasting responses on the theme and shows the similarities and differences between various media such as painting and video, but also demonstrates the spirit of intention of each artist

“In Macau, a frontier where Eastern and Western cultures meet and collide, we are hosting an exhibition of works from two contemporary artists closely related to this idea, in hopes of exploring how the cultural and technical ‘illuminations’ clash with their multi-dimensional art forms,” said Professor Hu.

Local artist Sisi Wong unleashes boundless imagination about the world across her photography and videos. The theme of light has been prominent in her works, where she explores the possibilities of light in various forms of media.

She said: “I look forward to presenting my artworks in this exhibition, which express my feeling of nostalgia for Macau’s culture as a local artist.”

She has acknowledged that the Time is on My Side competition has opened doors for her, both in Macau and abroad, providing her opportunities to represent the city through her works.

“I really feel encouraged by Sands China’s initiatives for local artists. […] I hope this exhibition creates a dialogue for the development and outlook of contemporary art in Macau.”

Meanwhile, artist Zhaoying Zhang has utilised materials across cultures and times to depict dazzling theatrical and carnival scenes, employing uncanny visual effects along with sharp contrast between brightness and darkness. 

Zhang creates works with a broad international vision exhibited through themes that transcend time and continental boundaries, demonstrating a hybrid mentality across different media, languages, and times.

He said: “I’m honoured to have been one of the winners in the Time is on My Side competition, which was a great opportunity for me to grow as an artist.”

“The fact that Sands China is offering us a platform to showcase our works is making a major impact in the development of the local art industry in Macau. The transition to supporting non-gaming activities means a lot to us artists,” he added.

Illumination – Zhaoying Zhang & Sisi Wong Dual Solo Exhibition is open to the public 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily until March 26 at Sands Gallery, a permanent art space on the 6th floor of The Grand Suites at Four Seasons that provides an opportunity for guests to explore an ever-changing variety of art exhibitions.

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