For the first time Macau will hold in March an International Biennial solely dedicated to the works of female artists.
The plan to hold the event was foreshadowed last year when an exhibition of works made by female artists from Macau and the Portuguese-speaking countries, organized by the Albergue SCM was held for the second consecutive year to celebrate International Women’s Day.
Architect Carlos Marreiros said to the Macau Daily Times that the idea behind such exhibitions was to acknowledge the works of women from across the region and to highlight their artistic capabilities.
“We had been testing the market and the reaction of people [with the previous events] and decided that it was time and that the conditions had been gathered to move into a worldwide event,” Marreiros told the Times. “There isn’t currently any event like this being held worldwide and I always thought that Macau should hold an event of this nature. It will put Macau on the map for excellent reasons such as the valorization of women.”
Marreiros shared that “there will be participants from all over the world. All the continents will be represented,” adding, “there will be over 130 participants in total.”
As in last year’s exhibition, this major event will continue to support the participation of artists from Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries such as Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Guinea, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Timor-Leste.
Among this list, the organizers highlighted the participation of Portuguese visual artist Paula Rego. “She will be present with one of her paintings,” Marreiros said, adding that due to her current age (83) and health condition, Rego will not be able to attend the inauguration. She will be represented in Macau by her daughter Victoria Willing.
The list of participants will also represent Hong Kong, China, Japan, Russia, Spain, Georgia, India, South Korea and Iran and of course, Macau.
Women-dedicated art biennales are very rare, with Asia the tentative trendsetter in this field, where the International Incheon Women Artists’ Biennale (South Korea) assumed the leading role, holding the first one of this kind starting from 2004 and until 2011.
The Whitney Houston Foundation has held two events that have similarities to the upcoming Biennial in Macau; the first was in 2014, two years after the death of the singer, and the second was held last year. Both were dedicated as a tribute to all women.
The event will be inaugurated on March 8 (International Women’s Day) in the Macao Museum of Art (MAM) and will remain open until May 13.
Portuguese artist Raquel Gralheiro will display an exhibition featuring the women in the Chinese zodiac at the Albergue SCM art gallery, during the same time period as the Biennial.
The event is jointly organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, MAM, and Albergue SCM.