Photographer António Leong's stunning shots of Macau

Macau’s unique character makes it a model city for photographers like António Leong whose stunning shots are drawing praise from everyone from locals to the National Geographic

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 April, 2016, 3:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 4:35pm

For Macau resident, António Leong, photography is just a hobby, but this hasn’t stopped his shots being selected as editor’s picks by National Geographic.

He’s amassed quite a following on social media too with over 12,000 likes for his Facebook page Antonius Photoscript. Today marks the start of his first photo exhibition, La Vie en Macau, showcasing some of the most outstanding shots of his beloved hometown.

A government worker by day, Leong first realised photography was to be his hobby of choice when he went on a photography trip to Guilin.

Leong enjoys capturing everyday life. Carrying a small camera, he strolls along the streets shooting whatever he comes across, from well-known Unesco World Heritage sites to stray kittens playing in back alleys.

The stark contrast between new and old and East meets West is perhaps more noticeable in Macau than any other city in the region and its intriguing character has made a perfect setting for Leong to work with.

Leong says his style of photography could best be described as snapshots that capture “different moments of life”. 

Stealing any free moment he has to shoot during his lunch break or after work has been the only way to make time for his hobby over the past six years.

I think photography can help people to rediscover the beauty of our city
António Leong

“Macau is small and convenient to travel around and I can go to several different spots within 30 minutes to get different kinds of pictures,” he says. 

Ultimately he hopes to present a different picture to the Macau most people know of these days; a city synonymous with extravagant casinos.

“I think photography can help people to rediscover the beauty of our city,” says Leong. “Macau is famous as a gambling city, but I hope I can show some different perspectives of our town with my images.”

And it appears to be working. Though the Macau of old, a tranquil fisherman’s village, may be eclipsed by the rapid casino development that has transformed it in recent years, its roots are not lost to Leong who beautifully captured the essence of Macau’s fishing village heritage in a shot titled “Streets of Macau”. 

The shot shows a side to the city that few would perhaps identify as Macau these days. However, his image, showing how residents are still trying very hard to preserve local tradition, caught the eye of National Geographic editors and was recently selected as a favourite. For hobbyist photographer Leong, this recognition has been a great motivator. 

“I feel very happy when their editors picked my pictures,” says Leong. “Macau is a small town and sometimes I feel exhausted as I keep taking some similar images, but when some of them got selected with their editors, it really motivates me to find new ways to capture another whole new series.”

Currently, Leong is experimenting with different types of visual artworks as he further refines his style. He’s got his eye on other ideal shooting locations like picturesque New Zealand that he enjoys travelling to often as well. 

In recent months some of his images have been turned into a set of postcards and sold throughout Macau. “I feel happy when I hear people approach me to let me know that my pictures really touched them and help them to remember some of their childhood memories.”

So whether its visitors to the city buying souvenir postcards or locals reliving memories of Macau through Leong’s lens, his images are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Leong’s photo exhibition La Vie en Macau runs from 27th April – 11th June 2016. 
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 20:00 Monday from 15:00 to 20:00
Exhibition Venue: Albergue SCM - A2 Gallery, Calçada da Igreja de São Lázaro No.8, Macau