Macau’s primary economic activity is betting,but not on contemporary art; like other international casino centers, it is flush with tourist cash, but art remains little more than an afterthought. Only a handful of commercial galleries operate, mainly flogging decorative wares. The government largely funds what cultural activities do occur.
The Macau Cultural Affairs Bureau (MCAB) provides financial support for almost all cultural programs, including contemporary art shows, in government- run museums and galleries. In March, the MCAB launched the Department for the Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries, an initiative to create a database for the design industry, as well as to publish a culture magazine. Macau’s fledgling arts community is hopeful that support from this department will eventually trickle down to the visual arts now that the MCAB is headed by former Macau Art Museum director Ung Vai Meng.
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