Urban Oasis

What I saw and heard in Macao gave a new creative inspiration to the native Portuguese artist Ma Weitu.

Grace Yu (text) Alman Liu (photos) 

Original article published only in Chinese
Below is a machine-translated version

Around the Dove’s Nest Park is a rare land in the downtown area: although the bus terminal is the bus terminal, it is rare to see the bustling crowd; the white dove nest park is covered with trees and flowers, and the adjacent Oriental Foundation site is still alive. Independence, as one of the landmark buildings of the historic city, occasionally hosts small musical performances or art exhibitions. The historical imprint of the mottled old town of the Macau Peninsula is faintly visible here.

Alexandre Marreiros also chose to host an exhibition with him and other artists and friends, which is his favorite place after he settled in Macau. “We live and work in the city, but there are always times when we want to escape from the city. For Macao, nature going outdoors may take a long time, but these gardens in the city can satisfy the desire to escape. There are plants and birds in the garden, which are like barriers that are isolated from the outside world. When you adjust yourself, you can leave at any time and re-enter your work and life.”

Alexandre Marreiros

Ma Weitu was born and lived in Portugal for a long time. He once participated in the Lisbon joint exhibition and presented his personal works in Galeria GivLowe and Casa Lusitana. Recently, he was invited as an invited artist to participate in the Festival Silêncio Festival in Lisbon. Before coming to Macau, he also lived and developed his art in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During his life in Brazil, he participated in various art-related activities, such as the Lach Park and the Assad Museum in Rio de Janeiro and the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo. Ma Weitu was influenced by the German photographer Thomas Florschuetz who had lived together and the Brazilian art designer Carla Guagliardi. In 2014, I came to Macau for family and work reasons.

The style of his work is actually a reflection of his personal life experience: from black and white paintings to color works, to today’s mixed media art creations. “When it was in Lisbon, Portugal, there was plenty of sunshine, so we didn’t need too much color; Brazil was a colorful country and gave me a different inspiration; and Macau is like a melting pot, and many cultures blend here. It’s hard to define whether the work is painting or printing or photography – it may be. This also makes my work no longer stay in a single form or medium,” he said.

In the exhibition hall of the Oriental Foundation, Ma Weitu and his friends jointly organized an exhibition called “Landscape”. His works are color-changing, with Chinese classical elements and Macao’s characteristic landmark elements. “The way I work and live in this city is reflected in my work. After coming to Macau, I use more different media to create. Sometimes I will take photography, make photography into canvas, and then draw on it. If I am still in Portugal, these are impossible to achieve.”
Born in an architect’s family, Ma Weitu also decided to become an architect from middle school. The work of the architect made him more engaged in the city, while he was engaged in artistic creation in his spare time, and the two identities were in parallel with him.

Ma Weitu’s parents are native Portuguese, grandmother is Chinese, and he laughs that he is the only native Portuguese who does not speak Chinese. After coming to Macau, he saw a Chinese-style temple next to the Western-style church, harmonious and quiet. People of different races and religions form a family. These love stories in Macao are romantic and beautiful in Ma Weitu’s eyes: “They are all born of love.” He is proud of his identity.