By Sofia Jesus

In a weekend far from exciting in fresh cultural events, let me recommend an exhibition — and a venue — that I am sure will dazzle you.

First, the place. Walking down to Barra is always a nice stroll. The area may still be flooded by the Chinese New Year spirit, but the venue I want to tell you about, though huge, lays quietly at Rua de S. Tiago da Barra, almost invisible to the distracted eye.

Navy Yard No. 1, now a venue for exhibitions, used to be known as Carlos I dock mechanical room. The enormous space, now transformed in a wonderful gallery — rough, luminous, spacious and with high ceilings — was used for boat building and repairing in the old days. Traces of those times have been kept so that memories do too.

The first exhibition held at the venue opened on December 30, will last until April 23 and should not be missed.

Sailing For Dream — Works by Kwok Woon gathers more than 40 works by the famous artist who settled in Macau in the 1980s and passed away in 2003. He played an important role in the promotion of visual arts in the territory, having set up the group Círculo dos Amigos da Cultura de Macau.

The exhibition features a collection of paintings and art installations with mixed materials by Mr Kwok that touched me deeply. The beauty of the colours and the textures is so intense that it made feel it could be inhaled. Just like a breeze from the coastline, just a few steps away.

Apart from some issues with some of the texts there — I have to mention it – the ensemble couldn’t be more harmonious.

The rehabilitation of the old dock mechanical room and its convertion to an exhibition venue is a work the city should be proud of. I just hope more can follow soon. As for Mr Kwok, whose amazing work I regretly only came to know through this posthumous exhibition, well, I couldn’t miss him more.