The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA or the Authority) held its 110th meeting today. At the meeting, Mrs Betty Fung, Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA, reported on the latest progress in various areas of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD).
M+ will soon be celebrating its first anniversary on 12 November 2022. Thanks to the strong show of public support, the museum has welcomed more than two million visitors and attracted over 9,300 members and 530 patrons during its first year of operation, despite a four-month closure owing to the fifth wave of the pandemic in the beginning of this year. In addition to the encouraging number of visitations, the M+ social media has also drawn close to 140,000 followers, while the M+ website has recorded more than 11.5 million visits over the past year.
To celebrate the museum’s first anniversary, M+’s first Special Exhibition: Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now will be opened to the public on 12 November 2022 (Saturday), and the opening ceremony of the exhibition will take place later today. Taking four years to prepare, the exhibition is the largest retrospective of renowned artist Yayoi Kusama in Asia outside Japan. It discovers the artist’s visionary career over the past seven decades and features more than 200 works from major collections from museums and private collections in Asia, Europe, and the United States, the M+ Collection, as well as from the artist’s own collection. Kusama has created three brand-new works for the exhibition. With HSBC as Lead Sponsor, the special exhibition will run till 14 May 2023.
M+ will host more exciting exhibitions in coming months. Among them are Beeple: HUMAN ONE, a hybrid creation that marries a digital artwork with a sculpture, starting from December 2022, and the exhibition Angela Su: Arise, Hong Kong in Venice, starting from June 2023.
Admission fee waiver to M+ for the first year after the museum’s opening will end on 11 November 2022. Starting from 12 November, visitors are required to purchase tickets in advance to access all M+ exhibitions, except for Hong Kong: Here and Beyond, an exhibition continues in the Main Hall Gallery on the ground floor.
M+’s General Admission tickets are priced at HK$120 for adults and HK$60 for concession. General Admission ticketholders are entitled to visit Beeple: HUMAN ONE mentioned above, among M+’s other exhibitions, except the museum’s Special Exhibitions. Tickets for the Special Exhibition Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now will allow visitors access to all M+ galleries; they are priced at HK$240 for adults and HK$150 for concession.
Tickets for both General Admission and Special Exhibition for entries from 12 November 2022 to 31 January 2023 have been available for online purchase through the M+ website, the ‘West Kowloon Cultural District’ mobile app and WKCD’s ticket partners.
The Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) – the other museum in WKCD – welcomed its 500,000th visitor on 27 October 2022. Opened to the public since 3 July 2022, HKPM has received overwhelming support and has recorded more than 530,000 visitors in four months time. In addition, HKPM unveiled its “HKPM Friends” Membership Programme at the end of July this year. The programme has registered more than 14,000 members with enthusiastic responses.
Spanning three months, the Special Exhibition The Making of Masterpieces: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Palace Museum was successfully concluded on 7 October 2022, followed by Odysseys of Art: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein, which opened yesterday (9 November) at Gallery 8 of HKPM.
Odysseys of Art: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein is jointly co-curated by HKPM and the Liechtenstein Princely Collections, which is displayed in Hong Kong for the first time. The curatorial team has selected over 120 masterpieces from over 30,000 works in the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein. The most anticipated pieces are 36 rarely seen timeless masterpieces by Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck - two of the most distinguished seventeenth-century Baroque painters in Europe. The exhibition will run till 20 February 2023.
HKPM has also presented a new batch of 69 cultural treasures from the Palace Museum starting from October 2022. Twenty-five pieces of the new batch are being shown at the special exhibition Grand Gallop: Art and Culture of the Horse at Gallery 9. The exhibition will run till 31 December. Visitors can purchase tickets online to appreciate the loans from the Palace Museum and the Louvre in juxtaposition.
In addition to the exhibitions, HKPM also keeps up its efforts in nurturing talents. HKPM launched the two-year “Bi-city Youth Cultural Leadership Programme” on 3 November 2022. With Swire Properties as Lead Sponsor, the programme is supported by the Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Palace Museum and the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in Beijing. Around 40 university students from each city were selected to join the first year of the programme to study around the theme “Museum & City Innovation” focusing on an array of hybrid learning activities. The second year of the programme will include a two-month summer-learning programme and internship opportunities with leading arts and cultural institutions in Hong Kong and Beijing.
On Performing Arts programme, the fourth Freespace Jazz Fest, a flagship music festival of WKCD, was successfully held from 26 to 30 October. Bringing music fans to some 60 captivating performances by 420 musicians, the five-day feast of jazz is the biggest so far.
The music festival was presented on multiple stages spreading across venues in Freespace and the Art Park in WKCD. It was also extended to Wonderland, an outdoor space adjacent to HKPM, for the first time. More than 20,000 on-site music lovers and close to 6,000 online viewers immersed in the diversity of jazz music.
“The Dance WE Made @ West Kowloon”, the interactive community dance project held on weekends and public holidays at WKCD, has been staged at the Art Park and M+ since its launch in May 2022. During two weekends in late October and early November, “The Dance WE Made @ West Kowloon” branched out from WKCD to the Yau Tsim Mong community. The dance crew engaged the district’s residents with simple exchanges to co-create choreographic sequences, extending the artistic concept of the project to the community to inspire boundless and human-oriented public participation.
“Black Box Chinese Opera Festival 2022”, the major annual autumn event at Xiqu Centre, has already started on 14 October. The fifth edition held this year was generously supported by the title sponsor The Friends of Hong Kong Association. The festival featured the premieres of two new Cantonese opera productions: The Asura Judgement – Solo Performance by Cantonese opera legend Law Ka-ying and The Imperial Decree (Preview)”, the third original production by the Xiqu Centre’s award-winning team. The premieres were staged at the Tea House Theatre and The Box, Freespace, respectively. The festival also saw a welcome return of the award-winning productions Farewell My Concubine (New Adaptation) and Wenguang Explores the Valley.
About the West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects globally. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong on forty hectares of reclaimed land located alongside Victoria Harbour. With a varied mix of theatres, performance spaces, and museums, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, providing twenty-three hectares of public open space, including a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.