Works by Irene Chou, Mona Hatoum, Gabriel Orozco, and Marcel Duchamp are now part of the collections

M+, Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture and part of the West Kowloon Cultural District, continues to add to its collections, which encompass the disciplines of design and architecture, moving image, and visual art. Driven by its Asian context; a dedication to the region’s arts, artists, and makers; and a commitment to a global outlook, M+ today announced major acquisitions by four internationally recognised artists: Irene Chou, Mona Hatoum, Gabriel Orozco, and Marcel Duchamp.

M+ further deepens its commitment to Hong Kong and ink art with the acquisition of three major works by the renowned artist Irene Chou (1924–2011). The M+ Collections already include four large-scale ink and colour works on paper by Chou dating from the 1970s and mid-1980s, and the new acquisitions build on this legacy and bridge the gap between the different periods of her remarkable career. The collections now document Chou’s transition from rhythmic compositions of lines and organic forms to a more controlled use of ink wash around a central circular vortex in red and black.

With the inclusion of works by Mona Hatoum, Gabriel Orozco, and Marcel Duchamp, M+ reaffirms its position as a truly global institution, whose identity is firmly rooted in the immediate region while richly intertwined with modern and contemporary art practices and histories beyond Asia.

Kapan iki, by Mona Hatoum (born Lebanon, 1952), arrives at M+ through the generosity of the Brown Family Annual Acquisition Fund. Kapan iki, whose title is Turkish for ‘trap two’, is an installation consisting of five cage-like metal structures, each of which contains red glass objects. The work brings together many of the important characteristics of Hatoum’s practice, including an interest in the human body and a concern with dislocation and exile. Kapan iki readily finds connections with major sculptural pieces in the M+ Collections by other internationally acclaimed female artists, such as Yayoi Kusama and Haegue Yang, who are similarly concerned with exile as a creative source for their work.

M+ also acquired the largest segment of the OROXXO project (2017) by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco (born 1962). Part of this acquisition was made possible through the artist’s generous donation. In his practice, Orozco endeavours to change the perception of common and everyday materials. In the OROXXO project, one of the most conceptually daring contemporary works in recent memory, the artist created a fully functioning OXXO store (the largest convenience store chain in Mexico) at kurimanzutto gallery in Mexico City. Orozco intervened with the packaging of consumer goods, using colourful stickers in the shape of his signature Samurai Tree Invariants patterns to partially obscure the logos of globally recognisable brands and of products specific to Mexico and other Latin American countries. The acquisition of the two OROXXO works significantly sharpens M+’s global outlook.

One of the most significant recent acquisitions was of a collection of 101 works, objects, and archival material by and related to Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968), widely considered the father of conceptual art and one of the most important figures in the history of modern art. Duchamp’s influence is undeniably global, and the acquisition of this collection will illuminate connections with works by artists from Hong Kong and mainland China that are at the heart of the M+ Collections. This acquisition will function as a crucial anchor in the M+ Collections, enhancing the global and trans-regional narrative M+ is uniquely positioned to tell.

Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director of M+, underscores the importance of the acquisitions: ‘These acquisitions are significant, not just for the M+ Collections, but also for the platform we are now establishing for art from Hong Kong and the region. The acquisitions underline M+’s ambitious positioning within the region as a contributor to the art world and form a collection that will be an important archive for all audiences. The M+ acquisitions programme would not be possible without the generosity of artists, donors, and collectors, whose support ensures that the M+ Collections continue to grow.’

Doryun Chong, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of M+, says: ‘The M+ Collections have from the beginning been the heart of the institution. The collections also embody M+’s mission of being a global, multidisciplinary museum rooted in Hong Kong, as we continue to build on our strengths in Hong Kong, mainland China, and East Asia while ambitiously broadening our geographical and conceptual purviews.’

In the run-up to the opening of the museum building, M+ will continue to build the collections and to present works in ambitious thematic exhibitions at the M+ Pavilion.

This year, Doryun Chong will be part of the Art Basel in Hong Kong Conversations programme, in conversation with Gabriel Orozco. The talk will take place on Friday 30 March, 11am–12pm, at the Hong Kong Convention Centre, Room N101B, L1.

Remarks

About Mona Hatoum
Mona Hatoum (born Lebanon, 1952) is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work explores the subjects of migration and dislocation, the body, femininity, and domesticity. Her early work is mainly focused on performance and video. In the 1990s, she began to concentrate on sculpture and large-scale installations. She often uses everyday objects and creates apparently domestic settings, which she imbues with a sense of the uncanny or a feeling of threat. Hatoum has participated in important exhibitions, such as the Venice Biennale (1995 and 2005), the Biennale of Sydney (2006), and Documenta 11 (2002). She has had numerous solo exhibitions at prominent museums around the world, including the Centre Pompidou; the New Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Tate Britain. 

About Irene Chou
Irene Chou (Chinese, 1924–2011) is one of Hong Kong’s most important artists. As a student of Lui Shou-kwan, pioneer of the New Ink Movement, Chou was a founding member of acclaimed artist groups in the 1960s, such as the In Tao Art Association and the One Art Group. She was one of the few female artists to achieve a level of critical success comparable to that of her male counterparts.  

About Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp (American, born France. 1887–1968) is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Widely considered the father of conceptual art, he is associated with Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism, but does not fully belong to any of these movements. Duchamp influenced generations of artists around the world, including in Hong Kong and mainland China, and he continues to have a deep global significance for contemporary practice. 

About Gabriel Orozco
Gabriel Orozco (born 1962) is the most important Mexican—and, arguably, Latin American—artist working today. Orozco has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at modern and contemporary art institutions around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou; the Serpentine Gallery; and, most recently, the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. Orozco has lived and worked in Tokyo since 2015. 

The Brown Family Acquisition
Now in its fourth year, the Brown Family Annual Acquisition Fund was conceived to facilitate acquisitions of contemporary art for the M+ Collection over a ten-year period. Established by Hong Kong–based artist and collector Rosamond Brown, an HKD 5 million donation supports the acquisition of works purchased at Art Basel in Hong Kong. 

About M+
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and the international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s twenty-first century. 

About the M+ Collections
The M+ Collections encompass the disciplines of design and architecture, moving image, and visual art, and the thematic area of Hong Kong visual culture. They consist of the M+ Collection, the M+ Sigg Collection, and the M+ Collection Archives. Established in 2012, the M+ Collections include almost 5,000 works and more than 12,000 archival items. The M+ Sigg Collection of Chinese contemporary art consists of 1,510 works—97 per cent of which arrived by donation—and represents 319 artists. 

About West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. The vision of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.