The 112th Board Meeting of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA or the Authority) held its 112th meeting today. As 2023 began, quarantine-free cross-boundary travelling between Hong Kong and the Mainland of China has resumed. The Authority has great confidence that the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) will be one of the most preferred attractions for Mainland and overseas visitors. To this end, the Authority is stepping up its preparation to welcome all visitors around the world. At the meeting, Mrs Betty Fung, Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA, reported on the latest progress in various areas of WKCD.


The Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) has recorded an encouraging patronage from more than 710,000 visitors in six months’ time since its opening in July 2022. Its special exhibition Odysseys of Art: Masterpieces Collected by the Princes of Liechtenstein opened in November 2022, featuring more than 120 masterpieces from the imperial collections of Liechtenstein that highlight the Princes’ collecting practices and the achievement of some of the most celebrated European artists. The exhibition attracted more than 100,000 visits within two months of its opening. Tickets for this special exhibition, which will run till 20 February 2023, can be reserved online.


Although HKPM has just opened for six months, the museum has already received donations of artworks and cultural treasures by various local collectors. The first special exhibition that features HKPM’s own collection will open in February this year. This special exhibition will feature the ancient Chinese gold antiquities donated by collectors Betty Lo and Kenneth Chu, owners of the Mengdiexuan Collection. It will delve into the significance of gold antiquities across different eras and communities in Asia, as well as their role in cultural and artistic exchanges.


Apart from curating exhibitions, HKPM also strives to nurture talents. The “Hong Kong Palace Museum Student Ambassador Programme” was launched in December 2022. Sponsored by the China Merchants Foundation, the programme aims to recruit 100 local tertiary and secondary students and provide them with a series of learning workshops and practical sessions. The programme aims to cultivate an interest in and knowledge of historical artifacts and the professional museum industry among the younger generation. These efforts will nurture a new generation of museum professionals for Hong Kong. HKPM has welcomed 22,000 primary and secondary school students since schools reopened in September, actualising the museum’s mission in fostering cultural exchanges and promoting the transmission of Chinese culture and history to future generations.


The distinguished achievements of the museum’s architectural design and construction was recently recognised by a Gold prize in the category of “Best Infrastructure, Community & Civic Building” at the MIPIM Asia Awards.


M+, the other museum of WKCD, has welcomed 2.4 million visitors since its opening. Its first special exhibition, Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now, was opened on 12 November 2022 to a positive response. The exhibition is the largest retrospective of the artist in Asia outside Japan. Close to 70,000 tickets have been sold and issued since the exhibition’s opening, and the exhibition will run till 14 May 2023.


Echoing Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to Now, M+ Cinema has arranged the screening of “Kusama’s Infinite Universe” from January to March this year. The programme spotlights Kusama’s life as an artist and key moments in her transnational career. M+ is also screening works of other artists and filmmakers, offering a visual response to Kusama’s career-long creative outpouring.


Other highlights of the Winter Edition programme of M+ Cinema include Techno Sapiens, which explores how technology tears down the limitations of humanity, and “Anatomy of a Classic: Infernal Affairs”, a screening programme which offers audiences an opportunity to revisit the modern classic of twenty-first-century classic Infernal Affairs on screen, through a new digital restoration 20 years after the film’s premiere. Tickets are available through the M+ website.


We are also delighted that, Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+ has recently been appointed as the President of the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM) for the term of 2023 to 2025.


As for performing art, SerendiCity, a feature programme under the banner of WKCD’s first art and technology festival Creative Tommorow, will run from 13 February to 5 March 2023. It can be seen at the Art Park and Xiqu Centre, as well as through WKCD’s online platform. A wide range of amusing art installations and performing art programmes will be shown throughout the three weeks of SerendiCity. At the lawn of Art Park, visitors can enjoy the Northern Lights recreated in Hong Kong every night by Borealis. In the Art Park, visitors can join their friends and family for a stroll in the fog as they appreciate the heart moving Petrichor.


Distributive Intelligence | A Group Mind will be showcased at the Xiqu Centre. Hundreds of robot-like mechanical modules will present an immersive show of kinetic lights.


Led by Xiqu artist Pei Yanling, Shijiazhuang Hebei Bangzi Opera Troupe and Peking Opera Research Centre of Hebei will perform in Hong Kong from 17 to 19 February, 2023. Apart from Zhong Kui the Ghost-eater and Mu Guiying Taking Command staging at Xiqu Centre, Ms Pei, the Xiqu master who has been performing for seven decades, will host talks to explain the art of Xiqu, walking the audience through demonstration of the two iconic Xiqu excerpts - Pinggui Bids Farewell and The Drunken Fight. The show is a must-see for audiences who want to see Master Pei's demeanour in person.


WKCD will present a new grand pop music festival from the end of March to early April this year. Performances will be presented on multiple stages in Freespace, the Art Park and Wonderland all across WKCD. Music programmes will also be staged at M+ for the first time. This grand music festival will gather renowned singers and musicians from the local pop scene, infusing artistic interpretation into Hong Kong pop music while showcasing the many facets and subculture in local pop scene. Other than ticketed performances, the festival will also feature free music performances to share the joy of the art form. Details of the programme and ticketing will be announced in mid-February.


Entrusted by the Civil Engineering and Development Department, the Authority is constructing a set of public landing facilities for vessels’ landing at the waterfront of the Art Park to the south of M+. The project contract commenced in September 2022 and is planned for completion by mid-2025. Preliminary works, including site survey, are now being conducted.


As for business development, on 22 November 2022, the Authority announced that the tender for the Artist Square Towers (AST) project at the heart of WKCD had been awarded to Winner Harvest Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited. The AST project comprises three commercial buildings with a total gross floor area of approximately 65,000 sqm, including 62,435 sqm for Office use and 2,500 sqm for Retail/Dining/Entertainment uses. This project is a key component of the development model of WKCD, integrating arts and cultural facilities with business developments, with a view to creating a unique cultural hub and art-themed commercial destination for Hong Kong. It will also generate long-term income to support the cultural mission of WKCD.




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.