Macau Art Museums And Galleries

Macau Art Museums And Galleries

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art lovers
Macau's Art Scene. Photos: Brad Reynolds

So you’re an art fan visiting Macau? Well, you’ll be happy to know there is a good mix of art-based attractions that can be enjoyed during your visit. These include Macau Art Museum and galleries with permanent collections along with regular international exhibitions, World Heritage attractions showcasing religious artworks and an emerging local art scene. Here are the best options if you want to include art stops in your sightseeing plans for Macau.

Museums and galleries

1-Macau Museum of Art

The art scene begins with the Macau Museum of Art (MAM).

This is Macau’s only major art museum, where you can view permanent collections of 17th-century Chinese calligraphy and find 19th-century sketches and paintings of old Macau by English painter, George Chinnery.  

Additionally, you will find a small series of now-and-then photos that are quite compelling to see, especially with the rapid development and changes taking place in Macau these days.  

Things to do in Macau
Now-and-Then photo series at MAM

The MAM hosts temporary exhibitions that are often of exceptional quality, such as the exhibition of French Masterpieces (2014), which brought to Macau the works of French Masters such as Renoir, Monet and Matisse from top museums of Paris and Versailles.

Things to do in Macau
La balançoire by Renoir (1876) at the MAM

Prior to visits to Macau, check out the Macau Museum of Art website for their current and upcoming exhibition schedule.

MAM is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm (closed on Mondays). Entry is MOP5 (free entry on Sundays and public holidays).

2- Tap Seac Gallery

In the heart of St. Lazarus District, visitors will find Macau’s best art gallery at Tap Seac Square.  

Converted from an administrative building into much-needed art space, Tap Seac Gallery has hosted some very impressive international exhibitions over the years.

Things to do in Macau
Tap Seac Gallery – Much needed art space in Macau

Mostly contemporary in nature, notable exhibitions have included the works of British photographer Clive Barda (2012) and Czech contemporary artist Václav Jirásek (2012).  

In 2014, Tap Seac Gallery showcased Martijn F. Le Coultre’s collection of rare original posters (circa 1880-1980s). This was a real treat for art lovers.

Things to do in Macau
Rare posters exhibition at Tap Seac Gallery

Tap Seac Gallery is open daily from 10am to 9pm and entry is free.

3- Leal Senado

Most visitors to Macau will eventually find themselves at Senado Square visiting the World Heritage attractions in this historic area of the city.

While there, fans of art should stop by Leal Senado, where exhibitions are held throughout the year, many of which are art-themed.

Things to do in Macau
Art exhibition at Leal Senado

Another art reason to pay Leal Senado a visit is to see the large collection of Portuguese-style tiled murals, which line the building’s inner walls and courtyard.

You will see examples of these blue and white tiles elsewhere in Macau but the Leal Senado murals are particularly beautiful and merit a few minutes of appreciation.

Things to do in Macau
Portuguese tiled murals at Leal Senado

Leal Senado is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 9pm (Closed Mondays). Entry is free.

4- Chinnery Murals at Cathedral Square

Additional stellar examples of the Portuguese tiled murals can be spotted at the base of nearby Cathedral Square.

Here visitors can see a row of works (ca. 1835-1840) by George Chinnery, depicting what Macau looked like during the first half of the 19th century.

Things to do in Macau
Chinnery Murals at Cathedral Square

The Chinnery murals are one of Macau’s best-hidden secrets, available for convenient discovery and enjoyment for those eager to see places not covered in the Macau guidebooks.

5- Historic Religious Artworks

A few of the UNESCO World Heritage attractions in the Historic City Centre include minor museums with collections of religious artworks.

Most notably, the Treasure of Sacred Art Museum located at St. Dominic’s Church, showcases 300 religious artifacts and paintings mostly from the late 19th to early 20th century.  

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Treasure of Sacred Art Museum

The Treasure of Sacred Art Museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm and entry is free.

A similar but smaller collection of 16th to 19th-century works is found at the Museum of Sacred Art situated in the crypt behind the Ruins of St. Paul. This is another quick stop worth making if you enjoy religious artworks.

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Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt

The Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt is open daily from 9am to 6pm (Closed Tuesday Afternoons). Entry is free.

Local Art Scene

The past decade has ushered into Macau a thriving local art scene, which can be experienced at several venues and locations around the city.

6- 10 Fantasia

The most convenient place to check out the local art scene is 10 Fantasia, a creative industries project in the heart of the beautiful St. Lazarus District. This local art incubator has been showcasing the works of local artists since 2008 and there are often some very good pieces to see.  

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Local artists showcased at 10 Fantasia

10 Fantasia exhibitions change on a monthly basis, meaning new and upcoming artists have regular opportunity to showcase their works.

This also means art fans making return visits to Macau will always have something different to view during future calls.

10 Fantasia is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30am to 6.30pm (Closed Mondays). Entry is free.

7- Ox Warehouse

Another venue where you can find creative local art is the Ox Warehouse near Mong Ha Hill. This is an old slaughterhouse refit with inner wall space, used by local artists to showcase their unique and individual talents.  

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Local artworks at Ox Warehouse

Open to the public, there can be interesting works on display at Ox Warehouse. Yet what makes this venue different is that visitors are often invited to become a part of the art creation process by adding their own art contributions to the open wall space found here.

Ox Warehouse is open Wednesdays to Mondays from 12.00pm to 7.00pm (Closed Tuesdays). Entry is free.

8- Muse Art Zone

For those who enjoy street art, you will want to pass by the outdoor city park called Muse Art Zone on Rua dos Mercadores, just a few minutes walk from Senado Square.

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Muse Art Zone works

Here, alongside park benches and exercise equipment, you will see exposed outer walls of gutted-out buildings, which have been playfully decorated with creative graffiti works. This is Macau making good use of bad space with art.

Interestingly, the graffiti works change several times a year so this is another place worth revisiting even if you’ve been before. There is usually something new and different to see at the Muse Art Zone.

The Muse Art Zone is open daily from 9am to 9pm daily and entry is free.

9- Macau Creations

Want to support the local art scene?

Art fans might want to pass by Macau Creations at Macau Tower or their artsy shop in Taipa Village called Cunha Bazaar.

Macau Creations is a coop organization, which helps foster and promote the local art scene by selling works and souvenirs made by local artists.

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Macau Creations at Cunha Bazaar in Taipa Village

This is a good place to spend your souvenir money if you feel strongly about supporting local art movements.

10- Art events

In Macau, there are plenty of opportunities to add art stops to your sightseeing itinerary. 

As an art fan, I find that there is always something going on in Macau’s art scene that is worth taking time to see.

Brad Reynolds lives and works in Hong Kong but spends much of his free time in Macau enjoying the art scene here.

10 things to do in Macau for art lovers