Portuguese Artist Vhils Curates Citywide Exhibitions in Macau

Wing Shya, Scarred, 2013
Wing Shya, 'Scarred', 2013 | Courtesy of the artist and Blue Lotus Consultancy

Art & Design Editor

Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto, AKA Vhils, curates six exhibitions across Macau as part of Encounter in Macau – Arts and Cultural Festival Between China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries.

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With its Portuguese heritage, Macau is the ideal location to host an arts festival that embraces and celebrates the Iberian country’s influence on this region. Through four thematic showcases, current artistic trends in China and Portuguese-speaking countries will be explored.

The Portuguese artist Vhils is known for his street art interventions that create striking portraits through ‘vandalism’. Using a technique of carving and drilling at the material layers of a building’s exterior, he etches and chisels faces that adorn urbanscapes around the world. Along with gallery director Pauline Foessel, the two have curated the works of 27 international artists to explore the theme of Alter Ego.

Through six exhibitions spread across Macau, Vhils and Foessel’s selection of contemporary artists will delve into the concept of alternative personality. As the curators have stated: “Working as a sort of analytical mirror, these works take the viewer on a visually striking journey that also acts as a catalyst for internal introspection and evaluation, resulting in an experience that is as aesthetically rich as it is internally moving.”

Here we highlight the six shows.

'The Self' at Macau Museum of Art


Featuring six artists, including Vhils, Mauro Pinto from Mozambique and Wing Shya from Hong Kong, the first show The Self explores self-awareness, the cultural other and how we interact with our surrounding world.

Mauro Pinto, ‘Dá Licença #7’, 2012

'The Other' at Old Court Building

Art Gallery

A recurrent subject of philosophical, psychological and sociological theory and study, the notion of ‘the other’ considers how individual and social identities are created. Here the nine artists, including Abdel Queta Tavares from Guinea Bissau and Beijing-based Zhang Dali, all consider the importance of ‘the other’ and how we need it to survive.

Abdel Queta Tavares, ‘The Aesthetic Of The Diversity #5’, 2016

'From Language to Travel' at Tap Seac Gallery

Art Gallery, Building

Travel enables us to engage with a diverse range of people. Marcelo Cidade from Brazil and Yonamine from Angola explore how different modes of communication and interaction play key roles in the immersive experience of travel.
Marcelo Cidade, ‘Reintegração de Posse’, 2017

'Culture Clash' at Gallery of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau

Art Gallery

Discovering new cultures is for the most part a positive experience, but there is also the possibility of a clash. Here Gonçalo Mabunda, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Miguel Januário and Nástio explore the realities of cultural clash that include exploitation and miscommunication.

Gonçalo Mabunda, ‘O gajo de Xipamanine’, 2017

'Globalisation' at Taipa Houses-Museum

Art Gallery, Museum

As we live in an increasingly connected world, Brazilian artist Guilherme Gafi and Portuguese artist Wasted Rita make us question the part globalisation plays in the exchange between countries.

Guilherme Gafi, ‘Agentes Concretos’ series, 2016

'Alter Ego' at Navy Yard No.1

Art Gallery

Identifying as both African and a product of the diaspora, Francisco Vidal, who was born in Portugal to Angolan and Cape Verdean parents, will present work that explores the alter ego in the final exhibition.

Francisco Vidal, ‘Fogo Fogo – Irmã com Bonecas’, 2018

Alter Ego takes place in various locations around Macau until 9 September 2018.

Want to see more international art? Here are the art museums you need to visit now.

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