Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, Alexis Tam, presided today (March 15, Porto time) over the opening of a Macao exhibition in Porto, the last stop of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) organized “Experience Macao – Portugal” mega promotion, conducted in tandem with Lisbon Travel Market (BTL, from its Portuguese acronym) 2019, where the city is this year’s International Guest Destination, and to highlight the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR).
Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, joined by Porto Mayor, Rui Moreira, hear the explanation of MGTO Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, at the inauguration of a Macao exhibition in Portugal’s second largest city
Alexis Tam highlighted in a welcome dinner the friendship and the potential for new dynamics to be created among the two cities
The opening of the exhibition was highlighted by a dragon dance performance by Chinese Martial Arts School She-Si from Porto
The inauguration of an exhibition with drawings of Macao’s iconic sites and streets atmosphere was held at the Porto City Hall gallery, located at the landmark building Paços do Concelho, of Portugal’s second largest city, followed by a welcome dinner hosted by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture at Serralves Foundation, one of Portugal’s main contemporary arts centre. The occasions included the presence of the Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, together with MGTO Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the President of Institute for Tourism Studies, Fanny Vong, among other officials.
During the dinner, Alexis Tam, highlighted the friendship and the potential for new dynamics to be created among the two cities, remarking: “With tourism playing a central role for both Macao and Porto, an ocean of opportunities are out there for our twinned cities to explore, from areas linked to the tourism industry, including culture and events like Art Macao, to heritage, gastronomy or tourism training. Today, myself and Porto Mayor, Mr. Rui Moreira, had the opportunity to precisely look into linking points in the agendas of our cities, taking advantage of our good friendship, looking forward to multiply our initiatives together.”
Titled “Images of Macao – the kingdom of 0.38mm”, the Macao arts exhibition that opened in Porto, will promote not only Macao SAR on its 20th anniversary but also showcase the arts among disabled people promoting a more inclusive society, in a collaboration of MGTO with the Fuhong Society of Macau and Porto City Hall. The display, running until April 24, presents 40 drawings of the talented Macao young autistic artist Leong Ieng Wai, also known as 0.38, due to the very thin pen he uses on his works, depicting some of the iconic sites of Macao, such as part of the UNESCO-listed Historic Centre of Macao, the busy city life among other aspects. His unique drawings tell different stories of Macao in a way that belongs only to the artist, which has earned him much recognition, including the Honorific Title of Merit in 2018 for his extraordinary personal development and social contribution to the Macao SAR.
At the opening of the exhibition, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, justified the choice of Leong Ieng Wai to promote Macao in Porto, noting: “In the activities we carry out to showcase the city around the world we are always looking for different ways to showcase new dynamics of Macao,” pointing out that the author of the drawings “is an outstanding case of a disabled person who attained success, conquering his space through artistic expression with the support of Fuhong Society of Macau, inspiring many in our city, which we are now bringing here to present Macao from a different angle and in the meantime expect his work may inspire many here in Porto as well.”
The activities in Porto mark the second and last stop of the “Experience Macao – Portugal” mega promotion that kicked off March 12 in Lisbon, with the presentation of a video mapping show at Lisbon’s main square, Praça do Comércio, titled “Macao, a Legendary Journey”, which will run until March 16, promoting the city in a creative and high impact way, in tandem with the destination’s bigger exposure at BTL and the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Macao SAR. As part of the initiatives, visiting Macanese chefs conducted cooking demonstrations, while Cultural Affairs Bureau also organized activities synchronized with the mega promotion, namely an exhibition of over 30 Macao artists, and the performance of four Macao street dance groups at four popular pedestrian streets and plazas in the heart of Lisbon, in a string of activities to enhance the dialogue and friendship with Portugal, contributing to boost tourism relations, by showcasing how two decades after the establishment of the Macao SAR the city is building itself as a world centre of tourism and leisure and a trade and culture platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.