MESSAGE

The Macao Museum of Art under the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau hosted last year the exhibition `Masters of Fire – International Exhibition of Contemporary Blade Smiths’. On that occasion, the exhibits came from the People’s Republic of China, Korea, Japan, Sweden, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Brazil. It was the world’s first exhibition for international contemporary sword smiths and it was warmly acclaimed both by the public and critics alike.

Now the Macao Museum of Art hosts the `History of Steel in Eastern Asia’, which assembles ancient weapons from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Continental South East Asia. Once more a world first, this is the first time an exhibition of this magnitude has been held anywhere in the world.
When ancient weapons from different eras and regions make their appearance in the exhibition hall of the Macao Museum of Art, visitors may initially feel overwhelmed by the perception that the “taming” of steel represents an important part in the advance of mankind. In a not so distant past, swords did indeed play a significant role in human life.

Although today their function is anachronic, ancient weapons have not retreated from the historical stage. These swords – the instruments of despair or exhilaration in fierce conflict - provide us with important historical references and transport us to an era of shining spears. The early casting and the forging crafts and varied ethnic qualities indeed come alive on the stage of art, and we hope that through this exhibition we can reveal the inherent features of the ancient weapons of Eastern Asia and thereby open a gate into another dimension of understanding culture and art.

On behalf of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, I wish to extend my most sincere gratitude to all contributors, both institutions and individual collectors alike. Without your earnest and dedicated efforts, these marvellous ancient weapons would not be in Macao - and our visitors would have been the poorer for it.

I am confident that this uniquely historical and artistic exhibition can inspire you and give all who view it cause for reflection on many levels.


Lau Si Io
Chairman of Administration Committee
Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau of Macao

 

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