stories of hope and resilience
Sands China is currently organizing a striking ceramic exhibition for Art Macao entitled “Project Sands X: Beyond the Blue – An Exhibition of Ceramic Extraordinaire”.
The exhibition which is now on display in the main hall of the Venetian Macao is one of the special exhibitions of Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021.
This year, Art Macao is themed “Creating for Well-Being” with the aim of promoting SAR as a World Heritage City and reshaping “the humanistic spirit in the post-epidemic era”.
Echoing the theme, Sands China’s colorful exhibit not only features a group of works of art from around the world, but works of art that tell stories of hope, resilience and diversity.
Sands China invited internationally renowned artist Caroline Cheng to organize the exhibition, which used the talents of more than 20 world-renowned ceramic artists and institutions to create Beyond the Blue-themed works.
The Beyond Blue theme is faceted in sense. Although traditionally, the works in the exhibition include a diversity of patterns and palettes, showing how the beauty of ceramics can go beyond these two traditional colors.
Additionally, with innovative techniques, technologies and designs, guest artists have created pieces that exceed all expectations and imagination, in the hope of bringing positivity to the world through art.
And finally, through this exceptional collection of works, the exhibition seeks to arouse joy and inspire visitors to overcome the blue mood of a pandemic world with optimism for a better future.
“This time, where the world around us is dark due to the pandemic, we say we are going beyond blue,” said Dr Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd.
“I think our Project Sands X: Beyond the Blue exhibition will delight and surprise visitors who discover that ceramics can go far beyond their expectations,” he added.
For Wong, it is the company’s sincerest pleasure to support Art Macao with this collection of imaginative and innovative ceramic artwork.
Project Sands X: Beyond the Blue features a total of 50 works of art, many of which are large, examining the past, present and future of ceramics.
Expand borders without limits
In keeping with the government’s initiative to turn Macau into a canvas through Macau Art installations throughout the city, Sands China echoes the goal of providing a “deeper travel experience” to visitors.
Beyond the Blue’s works combine technology and ceramics with an innovative presentation, and visitors can interact with selected pieces through a free augmented reality (AR) smartphone app. Exhibit attendees can create their own virtual artwork or digitally insert exhibit elements into their selfies.
In this year’s Biennale, a particularly interesting and unusual aspect of the exhibition is a unique Beyond the Blue side exhibition with the Everson Museum of Art, which contains one of the most important collections of ceramic art in the United States. .
In order to build on themes of interactivity and celebration, the Everson has created a real-time exhibition in the museum that can be viewed in 3D by visitors from a distance on their smartphones and on an interactive screen in the lobby. principal of the Venetian Macao.
Viewers can move around the space in 360 degrees, while translated texts and audio-video hyperlinks provide more information in English and Chinese.
In this way, the exhibition is able to use technology to connect people across international borders, virtually transporting visitors from Beyond the Blue to Everson, while also bringing 14 iconic works from Everson. in Macau.
“This, in a way, is a trans-regional and cross-border exhibition – and it expands the [overall] collection, ”Wong said.
Curator Cheng explained the idea behind the integration of the Internet, digital technology and art.
“This exhibition shows how an ancient art like ceramic making can take advantage of techniques inaccessible to artisans of the past to now create ingenious creations that were once thought impossible,” she said.
With modern technologies such as augmented reality and live streaming, viewers can interact and enjoy art in a whole new way and connect with each other in real time, regardless of geographic distance.
“We hope that with Beyond the Blue, this interconnection and creativity inspires all of us with hope and determination for a safe and unified post-pandemic world,” added the artist.
Call for sustainability, stories to tell
Exhibits made from recycled ceramics promoting sustainability in art are also presented with a vision to create a better world.
Each year, China produces some 18 million tonnes of ceramic waste.
For artist Karl Yin, the goal is to recycle this waste and redesign it into decorative ceramic sculptures that also serve as functional furniture.
“These works of art have stories about our history,” he says, pointing to some of his ceramic furniture work.
For him, the biennial offers a platform to send a message on a sustainable future.
“Macau is an international city. Lots of people come here and will watch this exhibit. It is an honor that I can present my work because I want people to know about the persistent ceramic waste that is produced, ”he added.
Meanwhile, Gu Yue spent three months creating a work that expresses gratitude for the hard work, skills and ancient techniques of ceramic craftsmen in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. His paintings on two large ceramic pots tell the story of the 72 steps required to create a ceramic work of art.
“All of these paintings here are scenarios of what I experienced in Jingdezhen. This pot [shows how] people can only see the end result of a work of art, but never the work that has been put into it.
Integration with the Grande Baie region
Another element of Sands China’s support for Art Macao is the Time Is on My Side – 2021 Greater Bay Area Young Artists Scheme – A Competition of Painting & Photography.
The one-of-a-kind competition is open to young artists from Macao and the Grande Baie region. Winners receive cash prizes and certificates to encourage them to continue their art, and their works will be on display at Londoner Macau.
“The national plan is to really integrate the Greater Bay Area (GBA),” Wong said.
“We think it’s important to embrace this concept and make good use of this opportunity [of Art Macao] to showcase international arts and artists in China, especially the GBA. “
So while the Beyond the Blue exhibit features established professional artists, the Time Is On My Side competition provides a platform for GBA art lovers to interact with one another through their passion without the hindrance. pandemic effect.
By accepting applications from across the GBA, the competition evokes the idea that “GBA is the future”, as expressed by Wong.
“But the main thing is now. What you do now determines what will happen in the future. We thought we had to choose a theme [Beyond the Blue] that really reflects this moment and, really, people should express their vision for the future, ”said the president of the company.
So, just as the theme of the exhibition expresses hope for the future, the GBA art competition expresses the ideas and imagination of future artists.
An “unmissable” exhibition
Project Sands X: Beyond the Blue – An extraordinary ceramic exhibition opens to the public at 10 a.m. at 10 p.m. every day until October 31.
“This is without exaggeration a must-see exhibit that must be seen in person to fully experience the wonders of these remarkable creations,” Wong said on the day of the exhibit’s launch, July 15.
After the official opening ceremony, Cheng led honored guests and VIPs on a personal guided tour of the exhibition, sharing his knowledge and valuable insight into the various designs and production techniques of the works.
This is the second time that Sands China has chosen ceramics as the ideal medium for its Art Macao exhibition, given Macau’s centuries-old history as a key port for the export of porcelain on the Maritime Silk Route.
For the inauguration of Art Macau in 2019, the exhibition “All That Is Gold Makes Glitter – A Glamorous Ceramics Exhibition” by Sands China showcased more than 90 ceramic masterpieces from outstanding contemporary ceramic artists from 13 different countries and regions. It was the largest and highest exhibition of ceramic art in the Grande Baie region in 2019.
The museum-quality exhibition on the theme of gold was seen by more than 8 million visitors.