Organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, co-organized by the Hong Kong Contemporary Art (HOCA) Foundation and supported by the Orient Foundation, the Consulate General of Portugal in Macao and Hong Kong and Casa de Portugal em Macau, the exhibition “Debris - Works by Alexandre Farto aka Vhils” was inaugurated on Wednesday, 31 May, at 6:30pm, at the Navy Yard No.1 - Contemporary Art Center. The opening ceremony was officiated by the Deputy Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao S.A.R., Wang Dong; the Secretary of State of Industry of Portugal, João Vasconcelos; the Consul-General of Portugal in Macao and Hong Kong, Vitor Sereno; the President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Leung Hio Ming; the Director of Development of the Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation, Pauline Foessel; the Head of Delegation of the Orient Foundation in Macao, Ana Paula Cleto Godinho; the President of the Board of Directors of Casa de Portugal in Macao, Maria Amélia António; and the artist Alexandre Farto aka Vhils. This exhibition, integrated in the 28th Macao Arts Festival, features over 20 works including four new murals inspired by Macao in the public space. The exhibition is open to the general public.
Alexandre Farto aka Vhils, has become internationally recognized for developing a unique visual poetry that exemplifies the interdependent relationship between contemporary life and its urban context. His groundbreaking carving technique, based on removing the surface layers of walls and other materials with non-conventional tools, has been hailed as one of the most compelling approaches to art created in the urban art scene. From stencil paintings to wall carvings, billboards to screen prints, pyrotechnic explosions to neons, Vhils has been exploring the concept of the aesthetics of vandalism in a plurality of media, continuously transcending the boundaries of artistic expression. The exhibition further presents forgotten urban collective memories and history from the artist’s perspective, revealing the specific moments of the globalization process, and the artist’s personal experience, identity and attention.
Macao has served as a long-standing source of inspiration for Vhils, where many historical buildings exude the heritage and legacy of local history. At the end of 2016, Vhils was invited by the Consulate General of Portugal in Macao and Hong Kong and Casa de Portugal em Macau to create a mural of the celebrated Portuguese poet Camilo Pessanha at the Consulate General of Portugal in Macao and Hong Kong.
This exhibition extends to a broader context of creation and is placed in a dynamic related to the identity of Macao, reflecting the relationship between time and history, construction and demolition, analyzing the conditions of human existence. The exhibition features works by the artist using local elements, including new billboards made from Macao street posters, and carvings on the old doors collected in the region, as well as a slow-motion video capturing Macao’s streets, offering the audience an immersive viewing experience.
The themes of the exhibition “Debris - Works by Alexandre Farto aka Vhils” are not restricted to the exhibition space; they are also in the form of public murals distributed throughout the city, including two works at the Macao Portuguese School, one in an external wall located at Rua dos Clérigos in Old Taipa Village, and one in an external wall located at No. 1, Rua Direita Carlos Eugénio, in Taipa. The artist combines the artworks with the city through various forms of creation, while he reviews his original creative form as a street artist and his growing art practices. The exhibition will be open from 1 June to 5 November 2017, at Navy Yard No. 1 - Contemporary Art Center, located at Rua de S. Tiago da Barra, Macao. Admission is free. The exhibition is open daily from 10am to 7pm, and closes on Mondays. For enquiries, please contact IC through tel. no. 8988 4000 during office hours.