The 28th Macao Arts Festival (MAF), organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym), has been concluded successfully, presenting 25 excellent shows and exhibitions as well as an outreach programme, in a total of over 100 activities, earning an enthusiastic response from local and overseas audiences. The overall percentage of ticket sales reached nearly 80%.
This edition of the MAF, themed “Heterotopia”, established, through texts, stories, images, music and imagery, a diversified space away from reality yet closely connected to it, bringing new possibilities to existence. IC offered an array of programmes related to this theme, including the opening show Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music and the closing show The Seagull, as well as the performances A Letter to My Nephew and Westland Feuds, among others, taking the audience into different art spaces in order to explore the world of “Heterotopia”. Several shows were highly sought after, such as the unique Remote Macao that transformed the city’s streets into a stage and Aneckxander: a tragic autobiography of the body which merged acrobatic elements, among others. In order to meet public demand, additional performances of the play Back to the Catastrophic Typhoon of 1874, the musical Metamorphosis under Starry Night, the play Songs of Migrants as well as of Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker were presented. The outdoor Performing Arts Gala continued to spread the arts into the community, offering residents an opportunity to get close contact with several art forms.
This year’s Outreach Programme was equally varied, offering talks, master classes, workshops, meet-the-artists sessions, school performances, art critique, accessibility services and movie screenings, attracting nearly 1400 people. Accessibility services were made available at some screenings and performances, allowing those with visual and hearing impairments to enjoy the arts without barriers. The online platform “Your Reviews” offered art lovers a convenient means to express their feelings as spectators. Additionally, the Festival invited a young local illustrator to design exclusive souvenirs based on the theme “Heterotopia”, which were well received by the public.
The 28th MAF was strongly supported by the Macao Government Tourism Office, TDM – Teledifusão de Macau, S.A., Air Macau, MGM Macau and Bank of China (Macao Branch), offering a variety of promotions to the public. Media groups and cultural commentators from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand were also invited to attend the 28th MAF’s performances and report the shows. Some critics considered that the shows reflected this edition’s theme appropriately. The organization also invited the consuls-general of various countries accredited to Hong Kong and Macao to join a cultural tour and deepen their knowledge of the city’s diversified cultural environment. In order to broaden the audience’s range, promotion and ticket sales services were available at designated venues at higher education institutions as well as gaming companies. The Macao Arts Festival has already become a significant cultural brand of the city. The organiser hopes to bring even more top quality local and foreign performances in the following year, thereby nourishing life through arts and establishing a culturally sustainable city.