Macao, the unique landscape that bridged west to the east through trade, administration and cultural exchange. The place where ancient Chinese temple sits on streets paved with traditional Portuguese tiles as a symbol of the control over Macao where Portuguese administered the trade and china owned the land & the Law. Starting out as village from the fishermen of Fujian, The Portuguese entered china through Macau who gradually established their roots as rented traders in 16th century building a fort, later raising a colony. The uncommon Chinese & Portuguese culture flourished together by embracing each other’s features, being beautifully knit with time. As a result, exceptional progress was observed. The amalgamation of mixed cultural ideas and religious beliefs lead to cultural experimentation and openness.
The Mandarin house amidst the Portugal residential settlements stood as a symbol of wealth & prosperity is one such example. Further, the historic centers (zones) of Macao emerged as the result of 400 years of heritage which encompassed all the different traditions and cultures. The blend of these two cultures gave birth to a new harmonious epoch of intricate architecture, cuisines, languages & religion. The contrasting urban environment driven by the economic forces of Tourism, Businesses, Gambling and entertainment created a contemporary paradise, overshadowing* the existing knit. The city’s urban spaces are influenced by the cultures inhabiting it. Macao today is known as the gambling mecca which brings in 60% of the GDP. Being one of the most popular places of tourism interest, has been overpowered by the commercial sector than the adjacent face of the flourished cultural & tradition industry with time. The extravagant entertainment portrayed through mesmerizing architecture is undoubtedly exceptional through the re-creation of world’s most celebrated symbolic artifacts with the new exuberant business and recreational centers. The two contrasting commercially driven features of the ancient culture and the new entertainment creates a heavenly delight for the tourists and businesses. The current density of buildings & people in Macao is at its highest, where a tactful engagement of the situation is much needed through proper management of the tourism and residential lifestyle. A careful reconsideration of these lines along with an innovative re-knit of the contrast can further empower the blend of cultures.
For me, Macao is a rational, sensorial overwhelming place with a wonderful blend of global cultures that has been accepted through the years, where past connections are kept alive through the amazing architecture, performing arts and authentic cuisines. Each street would have its own story to convey, each building its spirit. Each boundary, its connection across & each space its origin.