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See Instagrammer Cássia Schutt’s photos of Macao 

The Brazilian resident of Macao began her photography project during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way of finding solace in a city under lockdown.

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UPDATED: 26 Feb 2024, 12:54 pm

Brazilian-born creative director Cássia Schutt came to Macao almost 20 years ago, when her pilot husband received a job offer here. Schutt knew barely anything about the SAR. But her adventurous spirit welcomed the opportunity to swap her fast-paced life in Rio de Janeiro for the chance to explore Asia.

It didn’t take Schutt long to feel a powerful affinity for Macao, which she now thinks of as home.

The light bouncing off a gardener’s surgical mask makes an eye-catching comment on the ubiquity of face coverings in pandemic-era Macao
The light bouncing off a gardener’s surgical mask makes an eye-catching comment on the ubiquity of face coverings in pandemic-era Macao

In 2021, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Schutt started photographing what was then a semi-deserted city. These pictures morphed into her Instagram-based photography project Unlimited Macau – intimate portraits of Macao in black, greys, and orange. She says the project reflects her personal mantra: “Pára, olha, repara” (which translates to “stop, look, see”).

“My shots are unplanned and depict the moments of beauty I encounter. It’s my Macao,” the 45-year-old mother of two says. A live feline juxtaposed with a ceramic cat at a temple, for example. Or a fashion model ascending the steps of a temple.

[See more: Here are 5 Macao Instagrammers you should be following right now]

While Schutt’s personal aesthetic is vibrant and playful, Unlimited Macao is atmospherically sombre. The change in tone surprised even Schutt: “I asked myself ‘What does this new style tell me?’ This is not in my DNA.”

Schutt now believes the pictures “reflect a certain claustrophobia that I, an avid traveller, was experiencing from being stuck in Macao during the pandemic.” 

Cats, both real and ceramic, share a quiet moment at a temple during pandemic-era Macao
Cats, both real and ceramic, share a quiet moment at a temple during pandemic-era Macao

She explains, “I think it was a moment of shadow, perhaps sadness,” but adds that “there’s still some fiery pops of colour in tones of orange or red,” symbolic of the human spirit’s ability to continue in the face of adversity.

Today, Schutt operates an events styling business, and an online one-on-one coaching program helping students uncover their own creativity. She’s also keeping up her photography project, hoping to exhibit her pictures beyond social media. The images, she says, “are an honest reflection of what we all really are – light and darkness.” 

UPDATED: 26 Feb 2024, 12:54 pm

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