July – December 2021
Krzysztof Muskalski photographs
Thousands of years of wandering through the darkness of history, thousands of years to discover and build progress, thousands of years to strengthen civilization. China - the oldest continuous civilization in the world - has opened its doors more widely in these modern times. Civilization that living in tight isolation, while struggling with the turmoil of history, never stopped its efforts to progress and build a state that is all that was under Heaven - the Middle Kingdom. Travelling through modern China, it is impossible not to feel the breath of this oldest civilization's legacy, consistently amazing with its momentum, its duration, and amazing diversity of 56 nationalities. And often difficult to understand from a Eurocentric point of view.
A series of photographic exhibitions under the joint title "Chinese Odyssey" presents selected images of contemporary China.
The "Chinese Odyssey" series:
1. Lijiang - The Jewel of Yunnan
2. Treasures of Xi’an
3. Beijing - Non-Forbidden City
4. Yangtze gorges
5. Longsheng dragon scales
6. Macao – Portugal in China
6. Macao - Portugal in China
Guanyin Statue - a beautiful, sophisticated figure, which is one of the symbols of Macao, combines the traditional image of the goddess Guanyin and the image of the Mother of God. The goddess Guanyin is the main figure of the Buddhist pantheon and is worshiped as the goddess of mercy, pity and fertility. In Chinese religious syncretism, she plays a similar role to Mary, the mother of Jesus in Catholicism. The word guanyin means "to observe the sounds" which means that the goddess hears all requests made to her.
The history of Macao - a small enclave on the southern coast of China, perched at the mouth of the Pearl River, dates back over 2,200 years. Successive Chinese dynasties were not interested in this insignificant settlement until the arrival of Portuguese merchants in the 16th century. Merchants, thinking long-term, paid tribute to the Empire in exchange for the creation of a trading settlement at first, and then of "perpetual possession and government." So in 1887 Macao officially became a Portuguese colony. This status lasted until 1999, when Portugal handed over formal sovereignty over Macao to China.
Undoubtedly, these several centuries of Portuguese rule over Macao formed an extraordinary image of this region of China. The image is full of symbolism, the interpenetration of cultures, customs, traditions, as exemplified by the goddess Guanyin, the A-Ma temple (which is said to have given the name of the city), the facade of the burnt cathedral of St. Paul, as well as the historic center of Macau inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Recent decades, however, have brought here completely different influences of the modern world. Macao has become, like Las Vegas, the Asian capital of gambling, illuminated with a riot of colors and splendor, especially during the Chinese New Year.