It’s a tired – and patently untrue – criticism that there’s little to Macao outside the confines of its glitzy mega hotels. Spend more time there than it takes to photo the ruins of St Paul’s and grab an egg tart and you might discover the city has some truly exciting art spaces. (Not to mention some great restaurants and bars.) So if you think you’ve seen all the best Hong Kong galleries, hop on the ferry, broaden your artist horizons and enjoy these creative spaces instead.
Best art galleries in Macao
Open since 2016, Anim’Arte Nam Van is Macao’s newest landmark for leisure, culture and creativity. Retail spaces provide outlets for local designers to show and sell their wares. There are daily performances, all free of charge, and frequent workshops open to all too. And if all that’s not quite your bag, there’s even a dedicated street art area where you can let rip with your spray cans. 11am-10pm daily; workshops Wed-Mon 11am-9pm.
Located at Areia Preta in northern Macao, the innovative Macau Design Centre was restored from an abandoned historical factory. Still less than four years old, it includes 25 creative studios with stores, a coffee shop, bookstore, rotating exhibitions and a rooftop garden. Tue-Sun 11am-7pm.
The SAR’s largest art space, the Macao Museum of Art is unmissable for any visiting culture vulture. Historic Chinese paintings, calligraphy and ceramics as well as local contemporary artworks are all here. The museum’s forthcoming summer exhibition of work by Marc Chagall, the revered French- Russian modernist, is one to put in your calendar. Tue-Sun 10am-7pm.
Ox Warehouse is one of the homes of Macao’s local underground arts scene. Though it no longer has its own dedicated space, the institution continues to organise shows at venues throughout the city. The non-profit is also an exchange platform for local artists to meet and share ideas through internal events and collaborations with other local initiatives.