It may be
surprising to state, in this time of mass indifference, that the
capacity of indignation is an almost sacral virtue.
And more profane will sound
to the ears of anyone that the creative act, in its most purifying and
purified essence, roots itself in an indignation that drinks from the
etymological source indignus. In a more prosaic manner: before
the indignation that reality sometimes instills in us, before
the violence that is shown, the creative man dignifies this reality
returning it to us purified, sublimated in the shape that is, by
itself, a dignification of the creative person, and of those
that see it, because all act of artistic
reading implies always an act of appropriation.
It is therefore this
poetry of the senses that turns the creative into a being that is
conflictual by nature, scattered, heteronimised.
I met Antonio Conceicao
Junior during my stay in Macau, between 1995 and 1997. And it is
important to say, I knew him away from the social and institutional
circuits, where one does get to know a creative.
A Man of Macau, a Portuguese
anguished by the ways that Culture is being led, Antonio is an
indignant man in the most noble sense of the word.
He tells me that he creates
without anguish and in full tranquility. I do not believe him. But I
know what he means while not telling me. I see him look for peace in
other realms that are not those of mine, a westerner too much branded
by his own generational experiences.
I can guess his
contradictions. At the bottom it is simple. It resides only in
understanding that the dignity that he searches is similar to
the elegance of the lines he draws, the elegance of the materials that
he uses. Poetically speaking, the search for beauty, between Hellenism
and the East are the result of the dignified peace that he
presents to others; forcing himself not to show his more then
It was Rousseau who said that
he liked to be more a man of paradoxes then a man of
prejudices. Well, Antonio is an average citizen. What
distinguishes himself is the abnormal coherence with which he lives
and suffers reality. It is not enough to be sanctified, but allocates
him into the initiatic rituals that makes him one of the many laymen
But let us not forget that
Antonio is also Conceicao, from the same root as to conceive:
with knowledge, that is to say, with art made of
profession and too many proofs given as his vast Resume can
A multi-faceted man, he would
have liked to meet Leonardo da Vinci, the artisan and hear him say “one
never lies about the Past”. Because the Past is the
historic-cultural pot where we dive to think about this time on Earth.
Under the appearance of a
tranquility coming from a trained self control, lies the rebellion and
creative violence of the Junior that he also is. The youngest, and
firstly of himself.
Antonio carries with him in a
painful way a Trace of Silk, an Eastern breeze blown by a
disconcerting musical fan that expresses itself between whisper and
rage, ranging from the almost silence to thunder, in explosions needed
for the balancing of the opposites.
All this, however, expressed
in a dignified and paradoxal way by the poetic
indignation of this Friend of mine.
José Oliveira Barata
Professor of Literature