The 57th edition of the immense Biennale Arte 2017 in Venice, titled Viva Arte Viva, features 120 artists from 51 countries—and more than one of them has ties to Macau.

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Venetian Rhapsody – The Power of Bluff, 2016-17, by Cody Choi (Photo: Courtesy of Korean Pavillion, La Biennale Di Venezia)

Venetian Rhapsody, by Cody Choi, who was born in Seoul and moved to the US in the early 1980s, is a glowing installation of neon signage on the roof of the South Korean Pavilion that appropriates and re-presents symbolic images of casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. “My work in the 2017 Korean Pavilion suggests that Casino Capitalism signals the death of art, but also presages a new kind of hope for its resurrection, in the era of speculation and excess,” said Choi. 

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Hole Man by Wong Cheng-pou (Photo: Courtesy of Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government)

For artist Wong Cheng-pou, that hope has arguably already become reality. The Macao Pavillion features 17 sculptures, paintings and mixed-media works by the  Macau-born artist. The works are inspired by the deities described in the Chinese classic Shan Hai Jing (The Classic of Mountains and Seas) 2,000 years ago. The theme A Bonsai of My Dream is based on the hobby of ancient Chinese literati planting miniatures in small pots to project their pursuit of a reclusive and contemplative life. The exhibition’s goal is to show clashes in reality and rethink human existence

If you can’t make the trip to Italy before the Biennale closes in November, visit the Macao Museum of Art (+853 8791 9814, mam.gov.mo) for the A Bonsai of My Dream – On the Path to the International Art Exhibition - La Biennale Di Venezia, which runs until December 12, where visitor will learn more about the Biennale, Macau’s participation down the years, and Wong’s works. 

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D. Maria II Viewpoint by Chan Hin Io (Photo: Courtesy of Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government)

For an altogether different view of Macau, check out The Surrounding Horizon – Hin Io Chan’s Macao Aerial Photography Exhibition. showing at the Articulate Gallery (+853 28358330, macaucreations.com) until July 21.

Chan’s perspective takes viewers on an exhilarating flight that captures a rich variety of Macau’s landscape from high altitude, including buildings, festivities, bridges and construction projects. Appropriately, the venue for the exhibition is Macau Tower, itself 338 metres above ground.

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Detail from a design plan drawn by J.M. Cassuso for a municipal market in 1904
(Photo: Courtesy of Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government)

Explore Macau’s past at Macao Illustrated - Exhibition of City Plans and Architectural Drawings from the Macao Archives’ Collection, running from  June 10 to December 3. Hosted by the Macao Archives (+853 2859 2919, archives.gov.mo), the exhibition includes a selection of about 60 city plans and architectural drawings, which allows visitors to trace the history of the city’s evolvement from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century.

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Tentative Notebook by Rui Rasquinho (Photo: Courtesy of Art For All Society)

Meanwhile, the Art For All Society (+853 2836 6064, info@afamacau.com) presents Tentative Notebook - Works by Rui Rasquinho at the AFA gallery, a collection of black and white drawings and paintings by the Lisbon-born graphic designer and illustrator, who’s been working in Macau since 1996.

In this exhibition, which runs until June 11, Rasquinho showcases recent artworks in ink, graphite and charcoal in the form of sketchbooks, foldable books and, quite simply, on paper. These artworks were created when the artist was confined for a year due to a medical condition, which triggered a desire to break free from preset forms into an area that he considers tentative and transient, between the abstract and the figurative.

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Remote Macao (Photo: Courtesy of Macao Arts Festival

Finally, put on a comfortable pair of shoes and join Germany-based art group Rimini Protokoll, who will host a one-of-a-kind remotely-controlled 100-minute “guided tour” of Macau on May 21, 27 and 28 as part of the 27th Macao Arts Festival.

Part of the group’s Remote X environmental artwork series, which has shown in over 30 cities around the world, Remote Macao has participants don headphones and a synthetic voice guides them through the streets and lanes of the city. A walking tour theatre experience like no other, the event combines elements of theatre, living space and the participants themselves. Just like playing an online video game but with the whole city as the playground. Note that tours conducted in English and Cantonese, for more information visit: icm.gov.mo/en/events/detail/6439.

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Tags: Art Exhibition Macau, Articulate Gallery, Macao Museum Of Art