It is a new personal project that reflects my growing and maturing interest due to my knowledge and experience of the world, and my visits and participation in the most distinguished art events. Aside from being a contemporary art gallery, it is also a place for discussion and for the creation of new audiences.
Essentially focused on artists from South America, Africa, Middle East and South of Asia and their respective Diasporas, UMA LULIK__ also represents Portuguese artists, since we can relate our country with those geographies from a historical and social perspective. Its primary mission relies on the promotion of the work of artists from these regions, and it contributes to the demystification of contemporary art derived from emerging geographies, strengthening concepts and drawing near new artistic practices.
Many have asked me about the reason why I chose this name for the gallery. In East Timor, especially in ethnic tetum, “uma lulik” is seen not only as a place to store sacred objects, but also a place for meetings and activities of traditional rituals. It means sacred place, and it is a symbol of social unity of its inhabitants, of the community, as well.
The name of the gallery emerges, therefore, from my strong relationship with East Timor, where I lived during two years of my childhood. The memories of that experience are a heritage that I have kept alive and the UMA LULIK__ project is somewhat a tribute to a distant time, like the distant island that once received me.
— Miguel Leal Rios