Opening the Doors of Perception to the Heterotopia of Art

 “Heterotopia” is a heterogeneous space that exists in the real world while the charm of artistic creation lies in the creation of such heterogeneous space. Through words, stories, images, music and imagery, a heterogeneous space that is independent of but closely related to reality is created, granting life another possibility there and that is exactly the purpose of the Macao Arts Festival this year. Meanwhile, the experiences in the heterogeneous space will be taken back to reality like tinder, bringing unparalleled warmth and rays of wisdom into life.

After the theme of “Time” in 2016, the Macao Arts Festival is themed around “Heterotopia” this year, exploring the diverse possibilities of space. Twenty-five excellent programmes have been planned for this iteration and categorised into 7 focuses, which include “Thematic Highlights: Fantasies of Different Spaces”, “Groundbreakers: Crossing between the Real and the Unreal”, “Cross-Disciplinary Creations: Dancing beyond the Limits”, “Family Entertainment”, “Quintessence of Tradition”, “Melodious Music” and “Exhibitions”. With programmes and various extended activities, more than 100 in all, the Festival not only aggregates the works of international masters, but also covers local creations. Together with various promotion activities of community arts, the programme is rich and diverse, opening the doors of perception to the infinite gems and wonders of art for the audience.

As the thematic focus of the Festival, “Fantasies of Different Spaces” aims to guide the audience to look into the wonderful realm of dissimilar cultural spaces from different perspectives. The world-famous Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company from the U.S. presents two soul-stirring dance works to inaugurate the Macao Arts Festival: Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music reinterprets Schubert and Ravel’s works through modern dance while A Letter to My Nephew sends a smoggy letter about life. As a tribute to the 110th anniversary of Chinese theatre, Shaanxi People’s Art Theatre presents to us a masterpiece of magical realism, Westland Feuds. Through the half a century of love-hate relationship between the Bai and the Lu families, a vivid epic, a profound national character and a lively commonality of individuals on the yellow earth are told with a strong space-time tension, and that is equally captivating. Closing blockbuster, The Seagull, moves the Russian classic by Chekhov to Iceland, in which human nature remains the same in spite of the change of space. “Crossing between the Real and the Unreal” explores the boundary between virtuality and reality. Under this category, “Back to the Catastrophic Typhoon of 1874 – Soundscape Theatre” and Remote Macao guide you through the past and the present with sound. Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker leads you to experience the alternative wildness of Japan with a youthful spirit. “Dancing beyond the Limits” invites the highly sought-after contemporary dancer Hiroaki Umeda to perform a solo dance Holistic Strata, immersing himself in light and shadows with the audience. In addition, he will create a brand-new work together with local dancers, breaking away from the pre-existing fences through bodily entanglement to demonstrate a sharp true self. Furthermore, there will be an adapted version of the beautiful and concise Peking opera Lady Anguo, as well as classical Cantonese operas, concerts and family-entertainment programmes to provide citizens of different age groups with something they like.

From the arrangement of this iteration, we can see that the works possess multiple perspectives and are inextricably intertwined, weaving a heterotopia with rich layers and diverse textures. Audiences are encouraged to think outside the box, in order to understand, tolerate and enjoy the diversity of contemporary living spaces, which also reflects the purpose of the Macao Arts Festival.

The curtains are drawn and the lights are on. We cordially invite you to participate in the 28th Macao Arts Festival to experience the amazing lives of different dimensions.

Leung Hio Ming
President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR Government