The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) held its 65th meeting today.

The new chairman of the Board, Mr Henry Tang, thanked the former Chairman, Mr Matthew Cheung, for leading the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD).  He looks forward to working with Board members and Management, and is confident that the WKCD project could be delivered to meet the expectations of the community.

WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Duncan Pescod welcomed Mr Henry Tang as the new Board Chairman.  He then reported that WKCDA has recently gained further recognition for construction safety by winning two awards: the Considerate Contractors Site Award (New Works) jointly presented by the Development Bureau and the Construction Industry Council for the M+ Museum Project; and the first prize of the Safe Project Team Award presented by the Lighthouse Club Hong Kong, both recognising excellence in safety for the M+ Museum Project.

WKCDA recently took over the annual chairmanship of the Construction Safety Benchmarking Group, an industry leading group comprising major organizations that consider best practices and the sharing of knowledge in construction safety across construction sites in Hong Kong.

Entering into the final quarter of 2017, the progress of the WKCD development remains unabated. The Art Park project is on track with the opening of Phase 1 by the end of this year.  For the Lyric Theatre Complex and relevant part of the Integrated Basement project, the Board has approved the next construction phase of the Integrated Basement which is now pending for the funding application to pass through the Legislative Council.

The M+ main works recently reached a major milestone with the completion and load transfer of the mega trusses.  The focus then shifted to constructing the podium deck and the tower above.  It also saw significant progress in the production and testing of the ceramic tiles and precast facade system last month.

For the Xiqu Centre, the first Statutory Building Inspections are underway and the building can now be visibly seen nearing completion both internally and externally.

Apart from construction activities on site, Mr Pescod was pleased to report that the arrival of Ms Alison Friedman, the new Artistic Director, Performing Arts. Working closely with the Executive Director, Performing Arts and the artistic team, Ms Friedman will further strengthen the artistic vision and direction ahead of the highly anticipated opening of major performing arts venues in WKCD in coming years.

This October and November, WKCDA and Swire Properties come together to bring Freespace at Taikoo Place.  Over 80 local and overseas artists will perform at different ‘venues’ around Taikoo Place with unique programmes and performances of theatre, dance, music, exhibits and multimedia for two consecutive weeks.

The Freespace Happening on 8 October 2017 attracted a record attendance of around 10,000.  The next Freespace Happening will be a two-day event held on 11 and 12 November. This will include an open-air cinema showing two biopics of great musical talents.

Looking ahead at the growth in performing arts, WKCDA has launched a comprehensive three-year programme to help nurture talent and build audience appreciation for the theatrical arts as part of the lead up to the opening of WKCD’s highly anticipated Freespace in 2019.

After co-presenting the New Works Forum: Screendance in 2015, WKCDA and City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC) team up again to invite Cinemovement, a screendance organization in Singapore to co-produce Creative Meeting Point on Screendance – Hong Kong x Singapore.

Fresh from representing Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale, Hong Kong artist Samson Young premiered a major new work at the 2017 Manchester International Festival (MIF17) in the UK.  The first work to be co-commissioned by WKCDA and MIF, One of Two Stories, or Both (Field Bagatelles), begins with a first for the festival: a five-part radio series performed by a cast of actors, artists and musicians.

Cultural Hong Kong - our exhibition on the WKCD at City Gallery in Central is now entering its final month. To date, over 30,000 people have visited the exhibition.  The virtual reality setup takes visitors on a tour inside the about-to-open Xiqu Centre. The exhibition runs until 30 November.

On the M+ side, Rethinking Pei: A Centenary Symposium is a two-part programme linking two conferences in the US and Hong Kong.  Co-organised by M+ with the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, the symposium aims to re-examine I.M. Pei―one of the most celebrated architects of the 20th and early 21st centuries―on the occasion of the architect’s 100th birthday year.  The US conference held in collaboration with Harvard University took place on 12 and 13 October 2017 while the one with the University of Hong Kong will be held on 14 and 15 December 2017.

The Weight of Lightness: Ink Art at M+, the museum’s debut presentation of ink art, looks at the diverse explorations that have taken place over the past 60 years.  The exhibition runs from 13 October 2017 to 14 January 2018 and feature works by more than 40 artists from across Asia and beyond.

Remarks                                                                                                               

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.