The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) held its 42nd meeting today.
During the meeting, the Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA, Mr Michael Lynch updated the Board on Public Open Space Bylaw of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD). Members noted that the Board Chairman, Mrs Carrie Lam, joined the town hall meeting for the 18 District Councils (DCs) on 9 March to brief the 70 DC members attending the meeting on the latest development of the WKCD project before Management briefed them and received feedback on the draft Bylaw and guidelines. In addition, Members also noted that Management had consulted the WKCDA Consultation Panel, Yau Tsim Mong DC, arts and cultural groups, representatives of nearby residents, as well as the Legislative Council (LegCo) Joint Subcommittee to Monitor the Implementation of the WKCD Project.
Management noted the public aspirations that the Park and public open space in the WKCD should be managed as freely and flexibly as possible while balancing the different needs, interests and safety of park users. Members were informed that WKCDA would continue to listen to views from the public and stakeholders until end-May 2015 and carefully consider all the comments as it further refines the draft Bylaw before introducing it to LegCo for positive vetting in the second or third quarter of this year.
With regard to arts and public programmes, Mr Lynch reported to the Board on the successful staging of the 10-day programme, Rising Stars of Cantonese Opera, at Ko Shan Theatre New Wing during the Chinese New Year, with more than 83% of the tickets were sold. Members also noted that the fourth M+ Public Forum “Where We are Now and Where We are Going” was held on 10 March, in which the M+ team provided updates of the museum’s development in various aspects including the building construction, public programmes and collection. Warm response was received from the audience. Members also noted that M+’s eighth pre-opening programme “Mobile M+: Moving Images” was launched on 27 February and will run until 26 April to present a series of thematic screenings and a two-part exhibition in Midtown POP and Cattle Depot Artist Village.
Regarding Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK), the Board noted WKCDA’s Annual Press Conference was organised during that week (on 14 March) to update the international media on the latest development of the WKCD. Dr Lars Nittve, Executive Director, M+ and his curators also participated in a number of talks and conversations at ABHK from 14 to 17 March, which were all well-received. Mr Lynch informed the Board of the acquisition of the painting ´S. S. Rajputana leaving the port of Bombay – 29th August 1931´ by the contemporary Indian artist Atul Dodiya. The purchase was made possible by the Brown Family Annual Acquisition Fund, which was established last year to give M+ the opportunity to acquire works at ABHK for the museum’s growing collection.
At the meeting, members received updates on the construction progress of various facilities including Xiqu Centre’s superstructure work which commenced last December, and M+’s foundation work which commenced last August. Construction of the Park will commence later this year and a temporary Nursery Park is targeted to be completed in the second half of 2015 to enable partial opening of the Park area for public enjoyment throughout the construction period.
As a good governance practice to ensure that the M+ Acquisition Policy is up to date and to set forth the broad strategy and procedures for building the M+ Collection, members also reviewed at the meeting the Acquisition Policy, which was formulated in June 2012 with advice from the Independent Commission Against Corruption and reference to international best practices.