Goats galore at The Venetian Macao!

Goats galore at The Venetian Macao!

As the Lunar New Year arrives at midnight tonight, a group of YP junior reporters visited a highly unusual art exhibition at the Venetian Macao

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This metal sculpture of a goat seems to express this year's theme: "Season of Prosperity."
This metal sculpture of a goat seems to express this year's theme: "Season of Prosperity."
Photo: The Venetian Macao

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Some coloured figures on Conquer are climbing; others are falling.
Some coloured figures on Conquer are climbing; others are falling.
Photo: The Venetian Macao

To welcome the year of the goat, the Venetian Macao has an exhibition of 38 goat sculptures that are uniquely designed by local Macanese artists.

The exhibition is called Creative Creatures - Art and the Chinese Zodiac, and it's the highlight of the Venetian's new Lunar New Year theme "Seasons of Prosperity", which ends on March 3.

Young Post's junior reporters were invited to check out the sculptures, and this is what they thought ...


Guaranteed to scare no one

The "goatiger" may be a reference to a Mao quote. Photo: The Venetian Macao

"Goatiger" is, as its name suggests, a tiger-goat hybrid, and it was quite different to the 37 other hand-decorated goat sculptures they had on display. Though the whole image of a biological mishap involving a predator (the tiger) and its prey (the goat) may be quite difficult to grasp at first, it began to make sense as I spent more time trying to appreciate the artistic meaning behind the "goatiger".

Rodrigo de Matos, the artist responsible for this genetic blessing, may well have been trying to convey a political message. The Macau-based cartoonist is famous for his biting satire, making fun of topical issues. De Matos may have been referring to the famous Chinese phrase " zhilaohu" (paper tiger) - a term made famous by Mao Zedong in describing the US government.

The term refers to something that appears to be threatening and powerful but is actually weak. De Matos' goat sculpture gives the idea that all politicians, however scary they may appear to be on the outside, are cowardly goats who are unwilling to take any action.

Henry Lui


Mystery of the (e)scapegoat

Of the 38 goat sculptures, the one that really caught my eye was a sharp lime green that can shine through the fog. Green is a rare colour, especially during Lunar New Year, and I found myself walking towards the gleaming goat, confused about its colour.

Just what does this green (E)Scapegoat mean? Photo: The Venetian Macao

There is a huge black stripe on the goat containing the universal exit sign and the word "escapegoat". So, it's a sort of scapegoat; a poor, innocent goat. Does the green mean the goat's body is decaying, that it's sick and needs help to escape (exit) from its situation? I found my answer in the name of the artwork: (e)scapegoat. The colour does not only attract attention, but signals for help. In looking back, green can be a colour of sickness, but it also symbolises life. The first leaf from a seed is always green, not only through photosynthesis, but also due to its desire for life. The message from artist Filpa Simões for the year of the goat is to escape from your boring life and to find energy and motivation for the upcoming fresh, fruitful new year.

Theros Wong


A portrait of life in many colours

There's one weird goat sculpture that I can't help but adore and can't fight the urge to talk about it. Its name is Conquer by Leon Chan Ka-loc.

If you were an artist, what would you do with a plain white goat? Would you be annoyed that all the blank space requires too much work? Or would you be delighted at the amount of freedom you have to use your creativity? Chan seems to be of the latter opinion.

The white goat has a pattern of little figures in all the colours of the rainbow; and most of the figures there, whatever their colour, look like they are climbing.

Everywhere in the world, especially in East Asia, people are climbing - climbing up the career ladder or social ladder. We need to climb high to achieve our dreams.

The remaining figures are falling. They, too, are of all colours, falling - showing that everyone, regardless of age, gender or race, fails sometimes.

With the Lunar New Year, it's time for another round of climbing. Everyone has to try to climb, and try to conquer.

Sebastian Wong

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Getting their goat - all 38 of them

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Goats galore at The Venetian Macao! | Young Post | South China Morning Post
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