MRI Forum 46

"The Three Historical Encounters between East and West
as Reflected in St. Paul College, Macao"

by Francisco Vizeu Pinheiro

Summary of the Presentation

Introduction by Dr. Francisco Pinheiro of the book by Dr. César Guillén-Nuñez, an initiative of the Macau Ricci Institute, newly published by Hong Kong University Press with the sponsorship of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government,  followed by talk.

From the 16th century until the beginning of the new millennium Macao has played a main role in the development of three major historical encounters between China and the West. Each of these encounters occurred in different historical situations. On both sides human protagonists and complex social motivations were leading causes of this cultural process. After peacefully settling in Macao the protagonists of the first meeting could not have foreseen the dramatic developments that were to take place in the second and third encounters. For centuries Macao functioned as a practice ground where social and cultural experiments tested different European and Chinese interactions. In fact, the city was similar to a “chemistry” laboratory that produces good and bad solutions, but which had a definite influence on the health and wealth of each part involved. After five centuries we have learnt lessons from the past, which are of great value to build better future relations. The experience of the Macao interaction did not end in 1999, but entered a new phase with the pragmatic formula “One country two systems”, designed for the reunification with Taiwan and also as a platform for economic and cultural interaction with the West. This talk considers important aspects of these three encounters and the effect they had on the Jesuit College of St. Paul.

Profile of the Author and Speaker

César Guillén-Nuñez (胡纪伦) is Research Fellow and Book Review Editor of the Chinese Cross Currents quarterly at the Macau Ricci Institute.  He has an M.Phil. (University College London), an M.A. (Uni. of Penn.) and a B.A. Hons. (Courtauld Institute of Art), all in the History of Art, with a specialization in Spanish and Portuguese Colonial art and architecture of the Baroque period. The latter has led him to focus on the Society of Jesus as pioneers in the artistic East-West exchange. 

Francisco Vizeu Pinheiro (樊飞豪) is Technical Advisor at the IACM, Macao’s Municipal and Civic Bureau and Adjunct Professor at the Inter University Institute of Macao (IIUM), as well as part-time lecturer at the Tourism Formation School (IFT) and at the Polytechnic Institute of Macao (IPM).  He obtained his PhD as Doctor of Engineering in Architecture and Building Engineering from the Graduate School of Engineering of Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan (2006). His thesis was on the “Influence of Iberian Structures (Military, Religious and Civilian) in the Origin and Development of Macao”.  He also holds a diploma in Cultural Tourism from Macao’s Institute of European Studies (2002). He originally studied architecture at the Lisbon Faculty of Architecture of IST, Instituto Superior Tecnico (1984).  He was elected vice president of Macao Architects Association (AAM) for 2007-2009 and is a member of OAP and AIJ, the Portuguese and the Architectural Institute of Japan. He is also a member of the International Union of Architects (UIA) Science and High Tech facilities Work Program.

Municipal projects in Macao have included buildings and public spaces in historical areas of the city, Taipa and Coloane.  Representative examples are: the St. Francis Xavier Square, the old Taipa Market, Paik KoK and Tagmanini Barbosa Rehabilitation, the renewal of St Augustine Square, Cathedral Squares and presently the Lilau and Camoens Squares. After the UNESCO classification of the Historical Center of Macao as part of World Heritage, he is studying ways to improve the streetscape of the Macao Cultural Historical Corridor, which runs from Ama Temple to Senate Square.

His more recent academic presentations include: “Green Building Design in Macao”, 8th Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency Symposium, theme: “Social Challenge and Business Opportunities, Managing Long Term Success”, held at the Science Park, Shatin, Hong Kong (Dec. 12, 2008); “Global Warming and Green Buildings”, for the “New Leaf 2008”, organized by the Tourism Formation Institute of Macao (IFT) to raise awareness of Macao residents about environmental friendliness, particularly in the Tourism and Hotel Industry, held at IFT (November 26, 2008); “Heritage and Tourism: Community, Enterprise, Government & Tourists”, organized by the Centre for Tourism Planning & Research (CTPR), Sun Yat Sen University, Zhongshan. Guangzhou. China (July 8 – 10, 2008).  francisco@nishikaze.org