As part of the M+ Matters series of public talks to discover, learn and engage with key players in the industry while building the museum collection in and for Hong Kong, M+ at West Kowloon is pleased to announce REORIENT: Conversations on South and Southeast Asia (REORIENT), to be held at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center from 30 November to 2 December 2017.

REORIENT is M+’s first public event to focus exclusively on the region of South and Southeast Asia. From its early stages of formation, the M+ collection has encompassed works by South and Southeast Asian artists and makers, but the region(s) have yet to feature prominently as part of the museum’s public programme.

With REORIENT, M+ ‘reorients’ its attention southward by bringing together key practitioners, curators, researchers and thinkers from the fields of visual art, design and architecture and moving image, and from various locales in South and Southeast Asia, to present and discuss critical issues and multiplicities related to their practice, institutions and contexts.  Designed to inform Hong Kong audiences about the important works being done by individuals and institutions in the region, REORIENT also seeks to examine affinities and intersections between cultural practices in Hong Kong and the global south.

Comprising one-on-one conversations, short presentations and panel discussions, REORIENT is a three-day event designed as a platform to explore views across geographies (from Bangalore to Bangladesh, Yogyakarta to Ho Chi Minh City), disciplines (from visual art, design and architecture, to moving image) and initiatives (from bottom-up to institutionally-driven practices).

The conversations and discussions between invited speakers and M+ curators would seek to address the following issues: how local and regional particularities and histories (as well as transnational and global forces and flows) have informed and shaped the nature of cultural ecology and production in South and Southeast Asia; how Hong Kong is culturally, historically and geographically situated with regards to the region(s); and how various curatorial and research frameworks undertaken by museums and cultural institutions in Asia, and elsewhere, have investigated art and design practices of South and Southeast Asia.

Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director, M+ commented, "Since its beginnings, M+ has been committed to investigating and collecting works—across all disciplines—from South and Southeast Asia, as part of its remit as a global museum, with Asia at its core.  REORIENT is a culmination of this ongoing commitment, but also a renewed engagement to bring these practitioners, cultural producers, and institutions from the region, as well as those outside the region, into dialogue with each other and with their counterparts in Hong Kong.”

REORIENT: Conversations on South and Southeast Asia is organised by Pauline J. Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+) and Shirley Surya (Associate Curator, Design and Architecture, M+).

For more information:


About M+ Matters 
Since 2012, M+ Matters seeks to bring leading practitioners, curators and thinkers from around the world to share their views on topics relevant to the building of a new museum of visual culture in Hong Kong, with members of the public. Previous M+ Matters have examined a range of topics, including Asian design; contemporary ink art; China’s museum building boom; blurred boundaries between artwork and documentation; postwar abstraction in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan; postwar design and industry in East Asia; theorising art histories globally; global museums’ collection and display strategies; 1980s art landscape in China and East Asia; activist art and design from a museological perspective; copy culture; and art of the Pearl River Delta.

About M+
Hong Kong’s museum for visual culture—encompassing 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture, and moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia, and beyond—M+ will be one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world.  Located adjacent to the Art Park on the waterfront, the museum building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is scheduled to open in 2019.

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 M+, 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.


Programme Information

M+ Matters REORIENT: Conversations on South and Southeast Asia

Date: Thursday, 30 November – Saturday, 2 December 2017
Location: Jockey Club Hall, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong Kong
Admission: Free but online registration required due to limited seats
Language: English with Cantonese simultaneous interpretation


Designing on the Margins – Land, Materiality and Community
Thursday, 30 November 2017; 6:00 – 8:30PM

An evening of one-to-one dialogues between Anupama Kundoo (Founder, Anupama Kundoo Architects, India/Spain) and Aric Chen (Lead Curator, Design and Architecture, M+); and between Eko Prawoto (Founder, Eko Prawoto Architecture Workshop, Indonesia) and Shirley Surya (Associate Curator, Design and Architecture, M+). 


Art, Ritual and the Everyday
Friday, 1 December 2017; 6:00 – 8:30PM

Conversations between Rirkrit Tiravanija (visual artist, USA/Germany/Thailand) and Pauline J. Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+); and between Sheela Gowda (visual artist, India) and Doryun Chong (Deputy Director and Chief Curator, M+).


Researching, Collecting and Framing the Region
Saturday, 2 December 2017; 11:00am – 4:00pm

Full day with three panel discussions covering the following topics:

Panel 1: ‘Adjacencies: Links between Hong Kong, South and Southeast Asia’

Speakers: Cosmin Costinas (Director, Para Site, Hong Kong), Ashish Rajadhyaksha (Visiting Scholar, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong), Chuong-Dai Vo (Researcher, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong)

Moderated by Stella Fong (Lead Curator, Learning & Interpretation, M+).

Panel 2: ‘Seeds and Networks: Nurturing Local Ecologies

Speakers: Diana Campbell Betancourt (Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh), Zoe Butt (Artistic Director, The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre, Vietnam), Roobina Karode (Director and Chief Curator, Kirin Nadar Museum, India), Ignatius Hermawan Tanzil (Founder, LeBoYe Design and Dia.Lo.Gue, Indonesia)

Moderated by Pauline J. Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+) and Shirley Surya (Associate Curator, Design and Architecture, M+).

Panel 3: ‘Positions: Institutional Perspectives on South and Southeast Asia’

Speakers: Sean Anderson (Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art, USA), José Da Silva (Curatorial Manager, Australian Cinémathèque, Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Australia), Judith Greer (Director of International Programmes, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE ) and Shabbir Hussain Mustafa (Senior Curator, National Gallery of Singapore, Singapore)

Moderated by Suhanya Raffel (Executive Director, M+).