Monday, February 16, 2009

Adam Lampton's Macao

Adam Lampton's project Macao, completed on a Fulbright in 2007, is a wonderful and complex look at the contrasting cultural, historical and architectural influences of the region. Lampton recently presented this work to our class and spoke articulately about Macao's prominence as the gambling capital of China, its former colonization by Portugal and the rather swift campaign of urbanization that has overtaken the area. In his statement for the work, he asserts:

"While technically autonomous, the Special Administrative Region is run only with the blessing of the Central Chinese Government. It is therefore odd to see the world's largest Communist government involve itself in something that is so unabashedly Capitalist. Gambling is the purest form of consumerism. There is no product per se- just the promise of money turned into more money. This sense of being many things at once—Western and Eastern; Communist and Capitalist; contemporary and historical—is integrated seamlessly and without self-consciousness into Macao's personality.

Walking down the street then becomes like moving through the illogical progression of a dream. The challenge is not to find examples of x and photograph them, but to be lost in the multitude of meanings and remain there. Beyond presenting Macao as a site of physical, cultural, and political change, these pictures attempt to navigate a territory of conflicting perceptions inherent in the movement from historical city to phantasmagorical dreamscape."

From Top To Bottom:

Rosita, Croupier, 2007

Darling Massage and Sauna, 2007

Greek Mythology Fountain 2007

Macau Jockey Club, 2007

City of Dreams Casino Construction Site, 2007

All Images © Adam Lampton