Palácio da Memória is an exhibition by architect João Ó that reflects on the figure of the priest and scientist Matteo Ricci. This 16th century Italian Jesuit settled in Macau, having been accepted and adopted as an intellectual by the Ming dynasty. His contributions in cartography were fundamental – he is the author of the first Western World Map in Chinese -, mathematics, geometry, astronomy, geography and theology, including the publication of a Treaty About Friendship and the dissemination of the mnemonic technique used to enhance greater memory capacity. Their achievements played a decisive role in the dynamics of intercultural relations, providing a new vision of the world and mutual recognition between the distant civilizations of East and West.
In Palácio da Memória, introduced in Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, João Ó pays homage to the Jesuit, allegorically resorting to Ricci’s techniques, both in terms of conductive symbols, and more concretely, in the three large-scale installations that are inspired by aspects of his life.