Macau (MNA) – The public tender for the Ox Warehouse facilities will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) confirmed to Macau News Agency (MNA).
In June 2017, it became public that the art association who has occupied the facilities in the northwest of the Macau Peninsula for nearly 14 years was requested to leave, after the Macau SAR Government claimed the premises back at the end of 2016.
Speaking to MNA, Bianca Lei, one of the members of the Ox Warehouse collective confirmed that they have not yet settled in a new a place since they left the old facilities on September 31.
In the meantime, their activities are being held in other venues in town, such as the old courthouse building.
“We have seen some places already and would decide on one soon. After that, there is some construction and decoration works that we need to do, so right now, we still cannot mention a date of moving in,” she said.
Lei noted that the places being considered to host the association’s activities are located in various areas of the Peninsula. Yet, she claimed, they have to “consider lots of aspects and factors”– which are not only defined by the size of the facilities – before reaching a decision “as Ox Warehouse still want to promote contemporary art, experimental work and creation in a variety of formats and media.”
She added that the association is not counting on any support from the private sector or from the government to find a new place.
To our question to IC about providing support to the association to find new facilities, the Bureau replied that ‘there are also other forms of support for the works of the art association Ox Warehouse, such as funding the applications for cultural activities.’
The Bureau claimed in addition that it has ‘always’ supported the works of local associations ‘in different forms and maintained exchanges and communication’ with them.
A new art space is born
Last year, a former curator of the Ox Warehouse art association, Cora Si Wun Cheng, told MNA that the group had made a deal with a partner from the private sector, which would provide them a new space to hold its artistic activities starting April 2018.
Si confirmed that Chiii Design, a local design company, has offered new facilities to the art association in a building located behind the MSAR Government headquarters, which is being rented in its entirety by the company.
The facilities were initially offered to the association, which decided, however, not to take the place, named At Light (see image below – Credit: Art Empowering Lab).
“Other members of the Ox Warehouse felt that they did not want to exhibit in this space, so I joined the Art Empowering Lab,” said Ms. Si.
Si explained that the company has set an underground exhibition space, “just looking for suitable people to lend space to operate.”
There was a decision and Ms. Si moved on to join the Art Empowering Lab (AEL), which she co-curates with Joey Ho.
The contract granted to the AEL art group is of at least two years, Ms. Si told MNA, with the possibility of extension.
The new space, located at Patio do Padre Narciso, opened on April 7, showcasing its first photography exhibition, Fukushima.