Professor Jao Tsung-i, widely honoured as “master of Sinology” and “treasure of the nation”, has earned worldwide reputation and recognition as an encyclopedia-like scholar. With remarkable achievements and outstanding contributions in literature, arts, academics and many other arenas, Professor Jao is a rare giant of the century.
The connection between Professor Jao and Macao is profound. In the 1980s, he established the Department of Chinese Literature and History for the Graduate School of the University of East Asia in Macao; such a considerable merit has paved way for subsequent studies in Macao on Chinese literature. Professor Jao’s attention and support to Macao’s cultural arena are shown by a number of exhibitions in the city that display his calligraphies and paintings, and by generous donations of his artworks and pieces of writing to the cultural departments of the Macao S.A.R. Government. These masterpieces are all treasures to Macao that cast wide-ranging influence over the city.
The Macao S.A.R. Government proudly establishes the Jao Tsung-I Academy, and holds the exhibition Paintings and Calligraphies Donated by Jao Tsung-I as a permanent event, making the professor’s excellent artworks accessible to visitors throughout the year. The Academy accommodates a library that collects fine pieces of writing and catalogues about Professor Jao and serves as an ideal place for other cultural activities. The Academy also contains a temporary exhibition room and an auditorium, for the purpose of promulgating Chinese culture and arts and promoting academic exchange related to sinological studies. The name of the Academy manifests Professor Jao’s concurrent pursuit in the spheres of academics and arts.
The establishment of the Academy is in compliance with the conservation policy, under which the Macao S.A.R. Government aims to transform heritage premises into cultural facilities. Built in 1921, the premises that accommodate the Academy presently were formerly a residential building. In 1984, this neoclassical edifice was inscribed on the list of protected heritage sites in Macao. With an intact exterior, the building has a fabulously decorated arcade on the southeast façade. The studs, columns, arches, keystones, ceiling and fences are all of exquisite and refined design.