Happiness Forecourt = Largo da Felicidade =開心前地

Collateral event of the 14thInternational Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia


Organiser: Instituto Cultural do Governo da R.A.E. de Macau (I.C.M.) www.icm.gov.mo/en/

Curator: Departamento do Patrimonio Cultural doInstituto Cultural (Cultural Heritage Department)
Collaborator: Architects Association of Macau (A.A.M.) www.macaoarchitects.com
Participants: Mr Ung Vai Meng 
(President of theI.C.M.), Mr Cheong Cheok Kio (Head of the Cultural Heritage Department of theI.C.M.), Mr Carlos Alberto dos Santos Marreiros (President of the Fellow Members Council of the A.A.M.), Mr Leong Chong In (President of the A.A.M.), Ms Leong Wai Man (Supervisor / I.C.M), Mr Alexandre Lou (Senior Technician / I.C.M), Mr João Ó (Architect / A.A.M.), Mr André Lui (Architect / A.A.M.), Mr Nuno Soares (Architect / A.A.M.), Mr Ryan Lai (Architect / A.A.M.), Mr Joaquim Cheong, Mr Rex Chon (Graphic Design Consultants)
Commissioner: Paolo De Grandis
Coordinator: PDG Arte Communications www.artecommunications.com
Venue: Campo della Tana Castello 2126/A
Preview: 5th, 6th June 2014
Opening to public: 7th June - 23th November 2014

Opening times: 10 am - 6 pm
Extra opening times: 10 am - 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays until 27th September; closed on Mondays (except June 9 and November 17, 2014)
Media enquiry: pressoffice@artecommunications.com

Happiness Forecourt = Largo da Felicidade =開心前地 is organized by Cultural Affairs Bureau of Macau S.A.R. Government of the People’s Republic of China, in cooperation with Architects Association of Macau, are pleased to present a collateral exhibition that addresses the theme of Fundamentals by taking into account the unique cultural hybridisation in Macau, the blending of the East and West, and many facets that reflect the dynamic mixed cultures.

By definition, the forecourt (“Largo”, “前地”) is an urban void created by the confluence of two or more streets or the enlargement of one street surrounded by emblematic buildings, which essential function has been in time appropriated as a public space for social gatherings, pedestrian circulation, resting place and also a playground for important events or cultural festivals.

In reference to Macau, this urban morphology conveys the harmonious coexistence of two contrasting cultures, i.e. the forecourt of Portuguese and Chinese cultures, which can be observed in its unique living conditions, architectural features, and rich cultural identity. In this sense, this forecourt encapsulates the idea of a cultural symbiosis and manifests both countries joint effort to maintain a balanced and enduring partnership through time.

The title itself constitutes a statement of this blending: a playful translation in several languages, being obviously the Chinese and Portuguese the official languages of the Region, it advocates the necessity to include different idioms in order to understand the depth of its whole assertion. In Macau, this is particularly true in street names, where historiography can be traced by only one of its idiomatic versions, which may vary by case, resulting in parallel readings that add an invaluable understanding to the subject matter. 

In this exhibition, Happiness Forecourt is a fictional space comprised of several installations, each with its own take on the theme. The singularity of these proposals demonstrate the freshness and intended provocations to tackle the diversity of situations arisen from the public domain. Inspired by certain elements, which were then isolated from the social context and transformed into a design principle, this strategic action is made clear to convert an ordinary object into a cultural asset, resulting in design proposals that could be in fact implemented in reality.

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