The Macao Museum of Art (MAM), under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, will hold the exhibition “Shiwan Ceramics from the MAM Collection” in the the Exhibition Gallery on the 4th floor of the MAM from 10 May, featuring two most distinctive series of Shiwan ceramics: 12 pieces from the “Shiwan Ridges” series and 34 pieces from the “Shiwan Ceramic Artworks by Renowned Masters” series. The exhibition runs until 12 August.
“Shiwan Ridges”, which are incorporated into traditional Guangdong-style architecture, were once widely revealed in the daily lives of people in Guangdong and reflected the traditional style and taste of Lingnan district. For instance, people in Guangdong would fuse their favourite Cantonese opera scenes into Shiwan ridges so that it has become the most notable feature of Shiwan ridges.
The Shiwan ridges from this exhibition were produced by Wu Qiyu, a famous ridge company in Shiwan in the first year of Emperor Guangxu’s reign (1874), which has a history of 144 years. They are relatively rare among the existing Shiwan ridges, with dual characteristics of flowers and fruits of Lingnan district and Cantonese opera characters. In addition, the exhibition also introduces distinctive mythical creatures and Chinese legendary characters, revealing their charm from different perspectives.
The series “Shiwan Ceramic Artworks by Renowned Masters” includes the large-scale character sculptures created by Pan Yushu and Chen Weiyan, collected by Portuguese lawyer Manuel da Silva Mendes, which are also masterpieces of the innovation period of Shiwan ceramic art in the early twentieth century. The series also features drafts of the miniatures by Pan Yushu in Macao, works with traditional artistic style of Shiwan created by the first Chinese master of arts and crafts Liu Chuan, his apprentice Liu Zemian, the second generation apprentice Pang Wenzhong and among others, as well as artworks produced by masters such as Liu Ousheng and Mei Wending, who developed a new ceramic style in the 1980s. The array of exhibits reflects the artistic characteristics of the Shiwan masters in different periods while revealing the development of Shiwan character sculptures in the twentieth century.
In the early years of establishment of the MAM, the collections were mainly from the Luis de Camões Museum of the former Municipal Council, which primarily included Shiwan ceramics, calligraphy and paintings by Guangdong artists, historical paintings as well as modern and contemporary artworks by local artists. The Shiwan ceramics in the collections are mainly character and animal sculptures by traditionally recognised masters and different types of glazed containers and objects from the Ming and Qing dynasties, in which the most representative works were the sculptures previously collected by Manuel da Silva Mendes. In addition, thanks to the generous donations by Chairman of the Soka Gakkai International of Macau, Lei Loi Tak,; K. Y. Lau, Diana Lau and K. P. Mak from Hong Kong, the MAM has added to its collections more artworks created by modern and contemporary masters of innovative styles and the spectrum of its Shiwan ceramic collection that have been collected in the past are more comprehensive and representative.
In addition to the exhibition “Shiwan Ceramics from the MAM Collection”, the MAM is also holding exhibitions “In Love with Macao – Calligraphy and Paintings of Macao”, “Exhibition of New Works in MAM Collection”, “Women Artists – 1st International Biennial of Macao” and “Modern Painting from the MAM Collection”, allowing the public to appreciate different collections of precious artworks.
The Macao Museum of Art, located at Avenida Xian Xing Hai, is open daily from 10am to 7pm including public holidays (no admission after 6:30pm; closed on Mondays). Admission is free. For enquiries, please contact MAM through tel. no. 8791 9814 during office hours. For more information about the exhibition, please visit www.MAM.gov.mo.