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Calligraphy, painting exhibit opens Art Mingle@IFT culture festival

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A total of 12 calligraphy and painting artworks created by 6 renowned artists from either Macao or Mainland China, are now on display at the Educational Restaurant on IFT’s Mong-Há Campus. The showcase, “Splendid Quintessence – Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Exhibition”, runs until 21 July.

The exhibit sees Macao-based artists Mr. Mok Wa Kei, Ms. Che In Lei, Ms. Ho Lai Sim and Mr. Ho Loi Seng joined by masters from Mainland China Dr. Wu Bing and Mr. Ding Guangyi. The calligraphy showcases different script styles, from running script to cursive script.

At the exhibition’s opening ceremony on 20 June, participating artist Mr. Ho Loi Seng surprised the audience with a live performance, creating a couplet in calligraphy. The work promoted the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region and welcomed visitors to the city. Translated, it read: “Glad to see the blooming of lotus, Joyful to meet the coming of travellers”.

“Splendid Quintessence” is the first of a series of activities promoted by IFT in a programme called “Art Mingle@IFT”. The series is part of the Institute’s contribution to Art Macao, an international arts and culture initiative promoted by the Cultural Affairs Bureau that runs until the end of October.

Also planned for “Art Mingle@IFT” are other art exhibitions, seminars and cultural exchanges. IFT hopes to contribute to Macao’s cultural scene and offer new platforms for artistic dialogue.

Exhibiting artist Mr. Mok, who is also the curator of “Splendid Quintessence”, says staging the exhibition at an institute of higher education “is a good promotion strategy” to bring art to new audiences.

Mr. Mok points out that education about calligraphy as an art is essential for new talent to bloom. “As new generations learn to appreciate the art form, we will have more artists overall. The cultural and creativity industries can also benefit,” he says.

Since 2017, the IFT Tourism and Hotel School has offered short-term, elementary-level calligraphy courses led by Ms. Ho Lai Sim, who is featured in “Splendid Quintessence”. The courses are part of the Institute’s efforts to promote the development of Macao’s cultural and creative industries.

She says more people are now paying attention to Chinese calligraphy and painting as an art form. “There are more competitions taking place among schools and the results are good,” she says.

Her 2 calligraphy artworks at the exhibition both feature poems: one is by a local poet and features the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge; the other depicts an ancient piece of poetry. Together, the pieces present a contrast between past and present, the calligrapher says.

Another artist participating in the exhibition, Ms. Che, is also a course instructor at IFT; she focuses on Chinese painting.

Ms. Che says all artworks featured in the exhibition are of “excellent” quality. “Moreover, this is a Western-style restaurant, so this also somewhat promotes a blending of Chinese and Western cultures.”

“Holding an exhibition at [IFT’s Educational Restaurant] is similar to a salon-style exhibition, like those typical in France during the 18th and 19th centuries,” says exhibiting artist Dr. Wu. “People and artists can get closer and have in-depth exchanges.”

Dr. Wu comes from Mainland China but he is familiar with Macao’s art scene. “People in Macao display a growing interest and appreciation for Chinese calligraphy and painting,” he says.

Fellow exhibiting artist Mr. Ho Loi Seng – who also teaches calligraphy in Macao – agrees: “I can see that in recent years, Macao’s standard in Chinese calligraphy has improved. It is obvious when you visit school exhibitions,” he says.

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