LIFE / CULTURE
Interactive exhibits give Macao museums a boost
Unforgettable experiences
Published: May 19, 2022 04:49 PM
The Macao Grand Prix Museum of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Photos: IC

The Macao Grand Prix Museum of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Photo: IC

The Macao Grand Prix Museum of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Photos: IC

The Macao Grand Prix Museum of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Photo: IC

Standing on a podium and holding high golden "trophies," a gray-haired couple pose with smiling faces at the Macao Grand Prix Museum of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).

After the "award ceremony," the couple go on to take part in some virtual motorcycling, posing for more photos wearing virtual costumes of their favorite racers and carrying out "maintenance" on race cars.

"These interactive experiences made the whole visit very special and unforgettable," said the wife, a Macao resident surnamed Chan, who chose to come to the free museum on Wednesday, International Museum Day.

The museum said it received nearly 900 visitors on Wednesday thanks to the free ticketing policy and promotional activities, such as interactive games and gifts featuring the museum's unique elements.

The Macao Grand Prix Museum is among the over 30 museums scattered in Macao that showcase the city's unique culture and history over the past four centuries where the East and the West came together.

Li Xi, executive associate dean of the Faculty of International Tourism and Management of the City University of Macao, said the origin of museums in Macao can be traced back to a museum of maritime affairs and fishery founded in 1920 when the region was still under Portuguese rule.

"After Macao's return to the motherland in 1999, museums focusing on various subjects popped up, including museums on maritime affairs, telecommunications, as well as museums on historical figures, history and art," he said.

Macao's museums on night watches and Ne Zha, a Chinese mythological figure, embody typical Chinese cultural elements, while museums about Catholic art and Portuguese-style residences display the heritage of Western culture in Macao, according to Li.

Exhibits at more comprehensive museums such as the Macao Museum and the Macao Museum of Art show the historical integration of the Eastern and Western cultures in the city.

According to a survey released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) under the Macao SAR government, the popularity of museums among all cultural activities rose 60.6 percent among local residents in the second quarter of 2021.

In 2022, in celebration of International Museum Day's theme "The Power of Museums," about 20 museums in Macao will jointly host a carnival on May 29, offering interactive activities to the public, such as a treasure hunt at the Handover Gifts Museum of Macao and a virtual journey of maritime spice trade at the Maritime Museum.

Earlier in May, the Macao Government Tourism Office organized a series of workshops at museums. The Macao Museum of Art, for example, offered painting workshops to children aged between 5 and 10, where teachers guided the children through exhibitions of the museum and taught them to paint.

George Leung, one of the students, said the special course was very attractive because it not only helped him better understand the exhibits, but also taught him to integrate the painting skills into his own works.

The office said it encourages museums to keep innovating and inject vigor into the tourism market.

"The different museums of Macao provide multiple choices for tourists and help increase their understanding about Macao's history and culture, becoming an important source of unique memories," said Li.