Educational fund to be set up for aspiring local artists

Friday, September 19, 2008
Issue 471, Page 4
Word count: 542
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Art for All (AFA), an art troupe dedicated to artistic development in Macau, will set up an educational fund by the end of this year for locals who wish to study art both in the region and abroad.

Director of AFA, James Chu, told the press about the plan when attending the press conference of the Second Annual Macau Business Charity Golf Tournament and Gala Dinner at the Westin Resort Hotel yesterday.

AFA’s 10 artists will be donating 20 of their works comprising paintings, sketches, photographs and prints to the evening auction as part of the charity event and proceeds will be for the troupe’s future development including the soon-to-be-launched educational fund, James said.

Macau residents under the age of 30 will be able to apply for the funding in order to undertake studies in the area of art either in or outside the SAR.

James said funds will come from donations or sponsorships of artists, enterprises or casinos in Macau.

“The charity gala dinner is a good way to promote Macau artists and in the long term to help them develop their artistic career,” the AFA director added.

Beijing art centre

Apart from AFA’s St Paul’s Fine Art Gallery that opened in Macau in December 2007, James said a two floor contemporary art centre will be opened on October 4 in Beijing’s newest artistic area, “Beijing 318 Art Garden”.

Having prepared for the establishment over the past eight months, James said a scheme will be launched for Macau artists after the centre’s opening in which they can apply to live and work in the centre for one to two months without paying any fees.

The 3,000 square feet centre with a small garden is divided into two parts, which house the exhibition area on the ground floor as well as two bedrooms and a studio on the second level.

“We would like to make use of the centre to become a hub between China, especially Beijing, and Macau,” James said, “therefore our plan is to have joint exhibitions in the future in which artists from the two cities can work together for the same theme so that both of them can learn from each other.”

The AFA head said the debut exhibition in the Beijing art centre will be about Macau’s contemporary art showcasing 30 works from 16 local artists, and thereafter new exhibitions will come up every two months.

“Beijing is a cultural hub where important galleries and artistic halls are all located. Of course Shanghai is also very exciting but we still consider Beijing as the best for us,” James said.

Although James said Macau’s art market is developing on a “very slow pace”, AFA will continue to facilitate the growth such as participating in an international art fair in Beijing this month and New York in November.

“This is very important for Macau artists to get in touch with the public as well as to get the chance to let people know what their latest works are,” James said.

As for the annual Fringe Festival which will be postponed to April 2009, James said AFA “will certainly support the event” and “will try their best to submit a proposal to the organiser if they are invited to participate”.

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