Illuminating facades: Looking at postcolonial Macau

David Clarke

in Chinese Art and Its Encounter with the World

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083060
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209794 | DOI:
Illuminating facades: Looking at postcolonial Macau

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First settled by the Portuguese in 1557, Macau's position at the mouth of China's Pearl River enabled it to play a significant role in the early development of trading and other links between East Asia and Europe. The ‘backwater’ status of Macau as a small, isolated, culturally distinct European settlement on Chinese soil was to largely persist until its eventual return to Chinese sovereignty in December 1999 as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Such a ‘return’ is hardly a postcolonial moment in the usual sense, but the handover of Macau from Portugal to China does represent the end of an era, and has occasioned a major and very visible remaking of the territory. This process of transformation is the focus of attention of this chapter, and particular consideration is given to the visual implications or dimensions of this process, and to the possible role of images in providing an interrogation of it.

Keywords: Portuguese; Macau; China's Pearl River; East Asia; Europe; PRC

Chapter.  5162 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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