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Second run of “Encounters” Audiovisual Mapping of the Ruins of St. Paul’s Ruins Cultural Affairs Bureau invites opinions in open forum

24/05/2011
Macao Arts Festival

The recent audiovisual performance at Macao’s most famous architectural landmark is now a red hot topic all over town. The “Encounters” Audiovisual Mapping of St. Paul’s Ruins, a highlighted programme in the 22nd Macao Arts Festival, gave its last performance this past Sunday, and, defying the heavy rain, an immense, enthusiastic crowd gathered for their last chance to witness this beautiful show. By the end of the show’s ten-day run average audience size had soared to more than four thousand people, greatly exceeding the organiser’s expectations. Footage of the performance has gone “viral” on the internet, receiving a very positive response from the online community. With these factors in mind, the Cultural Affairs Bureau has proposed offering a second run of “Encounters” Audiovisual Mapping of St. Paul’s Ruins in August of this year, to answer the overwhelming demand from citizens and tourists. Before a final decision is made, an open forum will be established to receive feedback on this proposal from the local artistic community and the public at large.

The programme commissioned by this year’s Arts Festival, featuring ten consecutive nights of audiovisual performance, was designed, created and produced by the Barcelona-based professional audiovisual art collective Telenoika.net. With its advanced light projection technology and fascinating music, the show became a city-wide favourite by word of mouth, attracting thousands of citizens and tourists to the Ruins of St. Paul’s. The overwhelming public response was beyond the organiser’s wildest imagination, drawing a total of more than 10,000 audience members over the entire run. The official video on YouTube received over 20,000 clicks within several days, and the show is now a hot topic on Facebook and other web forums.

Web users have established a Group on the social networking site Facebook to petition the organiser for additional performances or even a permanent installation in Macao. In less than two days, more than three thousand web users have engaged in positive discussion, with a large number stating they have not yet seen the show and would like additional opportunities. In immediate response to this clear public demand, the Cultural Affairs Bureau decided in a meeting held Monday, May 23, to propose a second run of the show in August of this year.

Positive feedback from the online community includes the opinion that a permanent installation could accelerate development in the tourism sector as an innovative new concept, as well as the idea that the show would increase the popularity of World Heritage and enhance its attractiveness. However, some negative comments express concerns over light and sound pollution and disturbance to residents living near the performance site. The Cultural Affairs Bureau agrees that the proposal merits further discussion and will therefore hold a public forum in July, inviting a wide range of input from local community members, including the general public and online community. The Cultural Affairs Bureau expects the forum to receive input from various points of view, and to facilitate brainstorming and creativity. Most importantly, the forum will allow citizens interested in cultural events to participate in the decision making process. The Cultural Affairs Bureau welcomes citizens to comment via the Macau Arts Festival website or the dedicated Facebook page.



The 22ⁿᵈ Macao Arts Festival

2011‧04‧29 ~ 05‧28

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