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by: The Beat Asia
February 13, 2023
Art encompasses different broad concepts, but at its core, it is about creative expression and imaginative talent. Being able to express yourself with a great deal of freedom is one of the best reasons to pursue a career in the arts.
Whether you’re blessed with artistic abilities or have acquired them through years of practice, it’s never too late to become an artist. We created a list of some of the most influential artists in Macau who can be your sources of inspiration and help fuel your artistic passion.
Carlos Alberto dos Santos Marreiros is regarded as a “cultural icon” in Macau because of his prominent artistic creations in architecture and city planning. Marreiros is the brain behind the “Happy People in Macau” masterpiece, which is comprised of a series of marvelous and intricate panels that are embellished on the walls of Artyzen Grand Lapa Macau.
He finished a degree in architecture at Escola Superior de Belas Artes de Lisboa in Lisbon. After completing his education, he moved back to Macau and, at the age of 26, began working on his first architectural project.
He was able to establish MAA Marreiros Architectural Atelier Ltd., which has designed buildings in Macau since the 1980s. Among his most notable works are the pedestrianisation of Tap Seac (2003-2007) and Senado squares (mid ‘90s), Coloane’s Public Security Force School (1989-1991), the renewal of Macao Portuguese School building (1998 and 1999) and the Tennis Stadium, Academy and Bowling Complex (2003-2005).
One of the most influential artists in Macau is Ung Vai Meng, who specialises in cultural heritage, modern and contemporary art theory and practice, and design. In 1986, he acquired a scholarship from the Macau Cultural Society to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Portugal.
He successfully exhibited his works across the world, including in Macau, Hong Kong, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Sweden, Japan, and Poland.
In 2022, Meng, together with his fellow artist Chan Hin, took part in the La Biennale di Venezi where they showcased 11 artworks titled “Allegory of Dreams.” They featured unique perspectives and reinterpretations of Macau through sculpture, photography, video documentation, and performance art.
Konstantin Bessmertny, or simply KB, is a Russian-born artist who has been calling Macau his home since 1992. When he was only six years old, KB was called “the artist” and won first place in a painting competition at age seven.
He spent nine years honing his technical expertise by studying fine arts in the Soviet Union. He is an expert in literature, music, history, and politics, as well as painting, drawing, sculpting, and doing installations. His artworks were mostly associated with his diverse cultural background, as he can speak fluently in Russian, English, and Portuguese, and conversational in Cantonese, Spanish, and Italian.
Follow Konstantin Bessmertny on Instagram.
Denis Murrell, an artist who was born in Australia and works primarily with acrylic paint and tissue paper, is considered as one of Macau's influential artists. He has been residing in the autonomous region since 1989, where he garnered various accolades, including the prestigious Macau Biennial Art Exhibition and the 13th Collective Exhibition of Macao Artists in 1996.
His mother fuelled his passion and talent for art by bringing him a box of watercolours and showing him how to blend them on butcher paper. As of 2017, Murrell has created about 400 paintings using this technique.
Apart from tissue paper, he has also experimented with different materials like toilet paper, restaurant tissues, cloth rags, and denim cloth. He conducted multiple solo and group exhibitions, thanks to his association with The Friends Circle of Culture of Macao. This includes exhibitions in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Portugal, Malaysia, Japan, Sweden, and India.
Eric Fok is a native-born Macanese who finished a Visual Arts degree at the Macao Polytechnic Institute. During his stay at the university, Fok is an active member of the educational team that worked at the Macao Museum of Art. He is skilled in drawing using a technical pen to create fine details on archaic paper.
Some of his famous creations are ancient style maps incorporated with modern details, such as those relating to the history of urbanisation and post-colonial phenomena. To name a few, he worked on the Paradise – Grand Lisboa Palace and Paradise – Ships on the Oriental Coast at Grand Lisboa East and West lobby, Paradisus – 1557 at MGM Cotai Emerald lobby, and 1557 Carrack at MGM Cotai Bar Patuá.
Known for his artistry of colouring between the lines, Cai Guo Jie is a Taiwan-born artist who has been based in Macau since 2011. Cai has always had a passion for drawing, and as he's gotten older, he's been able to cultivate his own unique style in the arts.
He finished a College of Fine Arts major in painting at the National Taiwan University of Arts and a Master’s degree with a major in installation. Cai focuses on honing his skills in painting, art installation, curating, and art education. Some of his solo and group exhibitions have been held in Taiwan and Macau, respectively.
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