“Everyone is an Artist” is the theme of the 20th Macao City Fringe Festival running from 20 to 31 January. Organised by the Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau, this year’s event features 18 programmes and 17 outreach activities.
Audiences will be invited to wander through the streets and alleys of Macao, seeking to inspire their artistic talent and unleash their creativity. The event will allow people to enjoy the fun of artistic creation and appreciation.
The concept of “All around the city, our stages, our patrons, our artists” aims to promote participation at this year’s Fringe Festival. The “Art Exhibition for all” at the Rotunda de Carlos da Maia and next to the Flower City Park in Taipa will offer an opportunity for anyone to display their creative works by submitting their artworks during the exhibition period. Also, an improvisation zone will be available on-site for the public to express their creativity.
This edition of the Fringe Festival continues promoting local producers and curators with the series “Crème de la Fringe” and its two sub-themes, “On Site” by Tracy Wong and “Todos Fest!” by Comuna de Pedra Arts and Cultural Association. The former features four dance performances, including ImprovFlashMob, Body Traveller, Open Space and A Step to Theatre: Shelf Life, as well as dance workshops and a sharing session.
The second sub-theme features three performances, including The Never-ending Task of the Moment, Treetalk and Symbiotic Dance in Full Bloom, as well as workshops and seminars that are tailored to people with mental or physical disabilities and the elderly.
This year’s Fringe Festival will promote humanistic concerns. In The Distance between the Ocean and Us – Puppetry Playback Theatre by Zero Distance Cooperative, marine waste collected from beaches is made into puppets and used to improvise stories about the ocean.
Grandma’s Treasure Box by Lei Ka Mei tells the story of how a grandmother and grandchild move through the stages of life together, conveying the happiness in caring and being cared for. In Live on Suspension: a Performative Installation in 5 Chapters by Dirks Theatre Arts Association, participants enter the scene to observe and sense the dark side of a group or individual’s consciousness, to reflect on the meaning of persecution and victimisation.
The Macao City Fringe Festival strives to break the barriers of traditional performance venues. This year’s Fringe Festival extends performance venues to markets, bars and teahouses, presenting productions that can show the city’s characteristics and cultural connotations from different perspectives. F’art for you by PO Art Studio attempts to present a new form of theatre performance, in which the audience can place orders for food and performances, and enjoy the performance at home.
The Enigma of the Actress by Brotherhood Art Association is held in a bar, where the audience members will take on the role of a suspect and incorporate themselves into the performance to hunt for the murderer. A Gentlemen’s Fight with Puns and Tea is staged in an old-style Chinese teahouse and features verbal performance art, including Chinese crosstalk, witty dialogue and stand-up comedy. Work Inspired Workouts – Macao Market Version by Happy Cola’s Friends x Stella & Artists, records the bodies and memories at the market through movement.
Other highlights of the programme include: Focus to – Release by Kathine Cheong and Sueie Che, which attempts to associate brainwaves with images and encourages participants to be aware of their moments of focus and release; the show Stephen Chow by Ben Ieong, Anna Ieong, Endy Leong and Carl Ao Ieong, a medley of scenes from Stephen Chow’s films, which evokes pleasure for the audience in appreciating the philosophy of life; and 1991 by Associação de Arte e Cultura Comuna de Han Ian, in which three creators from different fields of art, Lao Ka Hong, O Chi Wai and Akitsugu Fukushima, intertwine a visual installation with body, sound and image, using non-verbal dialogue to reflect on the meaning of art.
Meet the makers
Outreach during this year’s event covers workshops, exhibitions, sharing sessions, seminars and online meetings. That includes the online meeting “Webinar: Connect with the Festivals’ Representatives” which shows how the technology breaks down barriers. Three renowned overseas curators of Fringe Festivals and an art review magazine founder share their experiences of curating a festival and explore the relationships between art, city, life and emotion.
In Fringe Chat, critics from Mainland China and Macao will shuttle through various performances of the Fringe Festival, and discuss with the audiences and artists the features and heartbeats of the Fringe Festival.
This year’s Fringe Festival offers several workshops that focus on body language. The “Crème de la Fringe: On Site” features three “Body Playground” workshops by artists with distinctive styles, in which participants will learn how the artists train their bodies and establish their own systems of creativity.
In “Art has no Boundaries” – Seminar on Artistic Development of Disadvantaged Groups in the Community, professionals, artists and representatives of social service organisations from Macao and other regions will discuss “the development of art and the elderly” and “the development and popularisation of art for people with disabilities”.
Tickets are available through the Macau Ticketing Network at www.macauticket.com or by calling the 24-hour ticketing hotline on 2855 5555.
The Cultural Affairs Bureau will strictly follow the related anti-epidemic guidelines of the Macao SAR Government Health Bureau and implement appropriate measures for cultural activities. All participants must wear protective face masks, undergo body temperature checks and present a valid “Macao Health Code” on the day.
For more information about the programme, please visit the Fringe Festival’s website at www.macaucityfringe.gov.mo or the “Macao City Fringe Festival” page on Facebook.