Reading Pictures: New Gardens Macau

Thu, 15.02.2018
Centro Científico e Cultural de Macau, Rua da Junqueira, 30, Lisboa, Portugal.

An artistic narrative between artist, work and reader


On the 15th Feberuary 2018, we went to the Exhibition Opening ofNew Gardens Macau, by Sou Vai Keng and Martin Zeller, in the Centro Científico e Cultural de Macau. Vai Keng is a student in our school and we couldn’t miss her exhibition.

All the images are photographs taken in Macau. The art works, inkjet prints on rice paper, were mounted by the artists using traditional Chinese techniques.

As soon as you enter the room, you find yourself completely unprepared into a lapse in time and space.

The art work evokes the strength of the thesis written by Walter Benjamin about the concept of history. Through the metaphor of the automaton, the author criticizes the perspective of history that operates as a machine which automatically leads to a destiny that is simultaneously a prison. We dare to say that also for Vai Keng and Martin, history is open. It does not know the future, and through the image, it recovers the past that is important for the present.

Dialogue between image and word

The exhibited works practice this concept of history, privileging the fragment to the detriment of linearity. They present the concept of time using the image to recover the past. Space converges and flows on a chaotic journey while we are standing exactly in the same place. The abstract art sometimes suggests landscapes or skyscapes, allowing space for the viewer’s imagination to expand.

Words gain a new meaning, and play a complementary role in the art works, as they provoke feeling and understanding in the receiver. Being him fundamental in the process of interpretation and signification of the art. Metaphorical, ironic, and crude fragments rip and stick out from the image giving it the condition of an enigma that defies being decoded. Genders dialogue, image and words, and they invite a third element: the person.

The exhibited works reveal the effort and dedication of its creators. We glimpse in it their moments of ache and delight. Deeper and more attentively, we find the darkness, the unquietness, common stains of those who are human. A perfect dialectic between universe and human.

No matter what you can read or think, you are not prepared. To visit this exhibition it is to be kicked in the stomach: you are not prepared.

If you are brave enough, give yourself a chance to experience the most astonishing exhibition present in Lisboa.