Macau, China, 02 Mar – The new head of the Cultural Affairs Bureau (ICM) Guilherme Ung Vai Meng said Monday that culture is an important component of Macau’s sense of belonging and identity.
Ung Vai Meng, that substitute Heidi Ho Lai Chun da Luz, was sworn in Monday in a cerimony attended by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Cheong U.
"It is of great importance that culture and art are developed in a healthy way in each city, and the appreciation of culture and history, the safeguarding of cultural heritage and the promotion of arts education are very important measures in the area of cultural development" he said during the cerimony.
Ung, 50 years, when outlining his toughts on the development of culture and arts in macau also said that "Culture should not be considered just an external decoration without any importance. Rather, it is a living reflection of various aspects such as the depth of our thinking, the breath of our horizons and our judgments”
In his speech Ung also highlighted some key milestones for arts and culture in Macau, including the addition of Macau’s historic city centre as a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site in 2005, and the 23-year history of the annual Macau International Music Festival that is usually held in October each year.
After quitting his job as an employee at a local bank at the age of 20, Ung joined the civil service in 1983 as a designer for what was then the Macau Cultural Institute, and was appointed director of the Museum of Art (MAM) in 2002. He became the head of Recreational and Cultural Services at the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) in 2008.
Ung is also an artist of international renown, with paintings taking out awards in local and international competitions.
Speaking to The Macau Post Daily he said that over his coming five-year term, he will work towards greater protection of Macau’s historical heritage, speeding up the drafting of legislation on heritage protection and improving the transparency of his bureau’s activities.