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Have you heard the “city notes” before? Yves Etienne Sonolet’s solo exhibiton will be opened soon!

The French visual artist Yves Etienne Sonolet will have his solo exhibition “City Notes – Works by Yves Etienne Sonolet” in AFA on August 30 (Tuesday), at 6:30 p.m. Having a Master’s Degree with honors in Fine Arts from Institut supérieur des arts de Toulouse, Yves relocated in Asia several years ago. He focuses on the transformation of the urban architecture in the morphing cities of South East Asia, blends medias such as photography, video, installations as well as stage scenography to express the in-between status of these transitional spaces. This time, the artist would show lots of works in different media, including installation, photography, video and mixed media in the exhibition.

“City Notes – Works by Yves Etienne Sonolet”

“City notes”, or sound of the city, does not imply what we hear everyday in the street. It is not the sound of pedestrians walking on the pavement, nor the sound of cars and the market. It is not the sound coming from the birds or planes in the sky neither, nor it is the sound of the wind and the rain. But it is sound emitted by rolls and rolls of buildings along the streets.


The artist sees that the cityscape as if they were pieces of paintings and drawings. These street scenes filled with the flat owners’ personal tastes are everywhere to be seen in many different districts in Macao. For example on the walls of many old buildings in Macao, a lot of air-conditioning machines are hanging outside. Their irregular positions, together with the cages added outside the window, are filled with different colours and shapes. Rooftop advertisement panels, neon light signs for shops are numerous in some of these districts, filled with all kinds of shapes and enriched by different colours and positions. In his eyes those layers of buildings are like the structure of music stave.


Due to his love of low-tech and DIY methods, he decided to make things by himself. He printed the panoramic image onto the musical paper strip, and made holes according to the elements found on the buildings in the image. These small holes are positioned like the musical notes on the stave. When the image strip passes the small machine, sound will be created according to their position on the stave and a song is thus produced by these particular buildings.


So the panorama is transformed into a song, diffused by the machine. And the song is on looped as if it is a note book put inside a pocket, one can take it out for review anytime.

The process of making the installation by Yves Etienne Sonolet
The process of making the installation by Yves Etienne Sonolet

That is why the “City Notes” are on one side musical notes of the city, on the other side they are also written notes for a city. Through Yves’ creations, what are the melodies that his artworks would play? Let’s wait and see what happens.


The opening of “City Notes – Works by Yves Etienne Sonolet” will take place in AFA Macau at 6:30p.m. on August 30 (Tuesday). The exhibition is partly sponsored by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Macao SAR Government. Media partners include Hoje Macau and Ponto Final. The exhibition will be opened to public from August 30 to September 18.


AFA Macau is located in 4th Floor, Art Garden, Avenida Dr. Rodrigo Rodrigues N. 265, Macau. The gallery is open from Tuesdays to Sundays (12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.) and closed on Mondays and public holidays. For enquiries, please call (853) 2836 6064 during office hours or email to [email protected]. For more information, please visit

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