Shaping the Cultural Landscape of Macau
16 March, 2017
Our cofounder and artistic director Calvin appointed by Ms.Pansy Ho as art curator and consultant for MGM Cotai project in Macau
Did you know that Macau was the center for the Lingnan school of artists, who had great influence on the development of calligraphy and ink painting during the first half of 20th century? Well known for her immense support in art and culture, Ms. Pansy Ho is committed to enhancing the cultural image of Macau. She incorporates her unique collection and 300 newly acquired art pieces into her new development project, MGM Cotai, and we are very proud that our cofounder and artistic director, Calvin Hui, has been appointed as the Art Curator and Art Consultant for Ms. Pansy Ho’s art project.
Below is the extract from South China Morning Post about the idea behind this meaningful project:
Pansy Ho out to restore some of Macau’s lost elegance with art going on show at new MGM Cotai casino resort
Interior design of Cotai resort opening this year will incorporate an eclectic collection of art, including newly commissioned works – part of efforts, Ho says, to promote Macau’s ‘more spiritual aspects’
MGM Cotai, the HK$24 billion casino resort that opens its doors in the second half of this year, will be more than a mere palace of easy-come, easy-go wealth thanks to its acquisition of a large art collection – one which, according to the woman driving it, will help forge a more sophisticated image of Macau.
The collection, overseen by MGM co-chairman Pansy Ho Chiu-king, comprises 300 works, among them 28 rare Qing dynasty imperial carpets and a commissioned collage called Eight Views of Macau by Chinese artist Xue Song.
Ho, with a personal fortune of US$4.2 billion according to Forbes’ rich list, is a seasoned collector and high-profile supporter of the arts. A daughter of gaming tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, she has also been heavily involved in the large art gallery inside MGM Macau – the first casino she opened as a joint venture with New York-listed MGM Mirage – which has shown works by Botticelli and Degas.
Art consultant Calvin Hui Kim-lung has been hired to put the collection together, with a remit to promote the works of a wide range of artists – Ho’s taste are, by her own admission, eclectic.
“I am not deemed a collector. I was told once a collector needs to specialise in certain categories. I cannot qualify because I have just varied interests. I can be interested in Islamic art, sculpture, even miniatures,” Ho says.
The Chairman’s Collection does have a certain emphasis, however: works by modern and contemporary Asian artists, such as a commissioned work by Taiwanese artist Hsiao Chin. The abstract painter who founded the influential Ton-Fan art movement in the 1950s has created a painting nine metres wide called Dancing Light 2016 for MGM Cotai, Ho says.
Other highlights include Song’s Eight Views of Macau, who recreates collage works made of burnt fragments of paper, and works by well-known artists such as Liu Kuo-sung and Liu Dan. Macau artists are also given a chance to shine. Calligrapher Ung Si Meng has been commissioned to produce a large work that will accompany the imperial carpets – made using silk, gold, silver and copper – that used to adorn the Forbidden City in the Qing dynasty.
Ho says: “The Macau government has done lots to preserve the city’s heritage, such as getting Unesco heritage status for many historic sites. But what do you then do to instil in other people the more spiritual aspects of Macau? To show them that Macau is not just about the postcard landmarks? “Macau has other unique qualities. For example, we should promote that fact that it played a major role in the development of Chinese calligraphy and ink painting when it became a centre for the Lingnan school of artists.”
Ho says she wants to put back some of the elegance that the city may have lost through rampant development.
“The demographic of Macau visitors has changed. The people who come frequently are those who come for the cultural events and think that this is a place worth exploring,” says Ho.
“The hardware has been developed now, but we need content that promotes the city’s essence. I really believe that customers themselves are going to make their demands and we have to come around to their needs.”