Passion Passport’s City Perspectives is back!
This week, Eloa Defly (@eloadefly) offers us a glimpse into his home city of Macau. Check it out.
How long have you lived in your city? What is your profession?
For the past four years, I have been living and studying architecture at the University of St. Joseph in Macau. It is an international university highly invested in creative industries.
In addition to my studies, I have been working as a freelance graphic designer since 2009 and as an interior design photographer for just over six months.
If you could capture the essence of your city in one word, what would it be? Why?
Macau is a “multi-faceted” city. It shows different, sometimes even opposite characteristics. From dynamic to restful, dense to empty, traditional to modern, Chinese to Portuguese, churches to temples, casinos to museums, gardens to plazas; Macau fits into many costumes which is what gives it its unique charm. It’s a place that seems to narrate many diverse stories. I think that is why every tourist perceives it in a different way, but its appeal is universal.
How would you describe the locals in your city? What are some stereotypes? Are they true?
Just like the city’s weather, I would say “moody,” though I don’t like to characterize people because they are often influenced by their cultures and communities. From what I have observed over the last 4 years, however, Macanese people are very expressive and their moods can be seen in their behaviors. At times, they can be kind and chatty; at other times, rather distant and standoffish. It is often just a matter of circumstance.
Describe the first place you’d bring an out-of-town guest. Why would you take them there before anywhere else?
There is a tour route that follows the main historical areas in Macau, starting from A-ma temple and finishing in the area of San Malo. I would take my guests there as it offers views of and information on many of the diverse neighborhoods of the city.
Describe the most underrated place to visit in your city.
The hills. There are a few mountains in Taipa and Coloane and I love mountain-biking the long trails. They are refreshing and quiet, which is what one needs to disconnect from busy city life. Although they are pretty remote, they’re worth the efforts to get there.
What’s the best season to visit. Why?
I would say fall. The temperature drops and it’s less humid. Every now and then we get blue skies and great sunsets. Fall is also a great season for a visit because there are lots of events happening, including the Lusofonia Festival (featuring Portuguese music, foods, handicrafts, and traditional games), the Grand Prix, and the Food Festival.
Where’s the best spot to see your city from above?
The observation desk of Macau tower or the view from its sky restaurant. From there, you see almost all of Macau as well as the north of Taipa and a good part of the main land. It is stunning, day or night.
Is there a tourist attraction that even locals (perhaps secretly) love?
Some restaurants in Coloane just by the waterfront have such great reputations that they attract many local food-lovers in addition to tourists. Locals often gather there with friends or family on the weekend.
How do you think that the beat or style of the city has informed your style as a photographer?
Shooting has been the most efficient way for me to discover Macau; it opened my eyes to its details. I often go around making photos day and night, alone or with friends. Doing so, I get to interpret Macau’s many diverse narratives in my own way.
I like to shoot at different times during the day as the city comes to life in different ways. I shoot at the earliest hours (when the city wakes up), the late afternoon (when the sun casts hard lights on an oblique angle), at dusk (when the sun has set but the sky still has a glow and the city and cars’ lights are already on) and late at night (when traffic is low and I can compose with light rails).
I am particularly passionate about urban sceneries. I appreciate light and textures, and the more details there are, the more there is to appreciate. Macau provides me with a wide range of topics, themes and scenes to pick from.