A Window (Lei) to creativity Village Mall opened and it is the first shopping centre devoted to local creativity TEXT CATARINA MESQUITA AND MARIANA CÉSAR DE SÁ PHOTOS ANTÓNIO SANMARFUL
magine a village where doors are left unlocked, where all the neighbours know one another and personal conversations replace digital communication. The simplicity of life in a small village is Window Lei’s inspiration for the Village Mall, a space entirely devoted to Macao’s creative talent. Lei’s inspiration for this project also comes from a simpler Macao of the 1980s and 1990s, when he was a young adult. Back then, the city was a very different place from the booming metropolis it has become today. “At that time, Macao was smaller and everyone knew each other. Even today that happens. No matter how much Macao grows, it’s basically still a village,” he says. Riding around on a child ‑sized bicycle in the Broadway Centre Building as though he were zipping through the narrow streets of Coloane Village, Lei greets people in the corridors, shops,
workshops and studios that have breathed new life into this three‑storey building on Rua do Campo. The Village Mall will officially open it's doors at the beginning of 2017, but to truly understand and appreciate the significance and beauty of the space requires a trip back in time to visit some of Lei’s other creative village projects.
SURVIVING WITH CHINGLISH
The year is 2000, and the inherent claustrophobia brought on by living in a territory as small as Macao has been affecting Lei. “A time came when I needed to get out and see the world. So with a hundred pounds, a one ‑way ticket and a guitar on my back, I went to England and Ireland,” he recounts. The son of an architect and a housewife, he didn’t have much money and knew very little English, but because he was NOVEMBER 2016