February 23, 2008


I went in 1982 on a photographic trip to Portugal, commited to spend two months driving around the country and photographying places and people that were not the post card type. Always disliked clichés. I carried two Nikon F6 cameras which, at the time, were very popular as the crème de la crème of Japanese cameras.

I returned after going deep into what I had in mind: photographying Portugal By The Side of the Road. Had over two thousand slides that were finely developped in a professional lab.
Now there was the need to publish it. As I faced new jobs, the project was carefully laid on the side.

One day, on the 1st. of June, 1986, I was called to a meeting of a Government cultural institution and was presented with this fact:
National Day is on the 10th of June, we have 9 days and not a clue on what to do. Any idea?

I instantly recalled the unpublished book, and said: yes I have something for you. I can produce a book and a photographic exhibition. My interlocutor looked at me in disbelief.

-Can you do it for the 9th. of June? Can you guarantee it? I said: yes!

-Okay then, go ahead and we count on you.

As I arrived home I called Mr. Sakai and asked him to come the next day for an urgent meeting. Same day I called the manager of Colorteknik. Both would have to come from Hong Kong, as in those days Macau was less independent. I also called the printer for the same meeting.

Then I prepared myself to work throughout the night. I would have to spend countless hours on the lightbox selecting the slides, they would need to have a coherence of both the geography as well as the balance between landscapes and people, it had to tell an unknown story, and last but not least, it would also need to contemplate the gallery where the photographs would be displayed.

After the coordination meeting the next day, I started writing the book's introduction, have it picked up by the printer's messenger.

The coordination was to make sure that once the slides were scanned for color separation with a precise deadline, they would be handed to Raymond Lau of Colorteknik to proceed with the making of 50 crystal paper photographs which had a maximum size about 26 inches (66 cm).

At that time the best technology was photo composition which would come out in a 7 inches wide matt photographic paper. Then if there were typos, the fastest way to do it would be to surgically cut some letters from somewhere else and paste them with a thin drop of rubber cement.

To make a long story short, by the 8th. the books arrived, the photographs vacuum sealed in acrylic frames also arrived and everything went without a glitch. The color separations were superb. But we don't like to work on rush jobs. They become very expensive and disruptive.

Bottom line: This account helps describe the potentialities of Macau in the area of services.

: : Ars Cives Art Director : :