M+, Hong Kong.
Photo: Virgile Simon Bertrand. © Virgile Simon Bertrand Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron
M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong, is set to open to the public on Friday, 12 November 2021. The museum will host an official opening ceremony and a media tour on Thursday, 11 November 2021, to unveil the opening displays of its pre-eminent collections of visual art, design and architecture, and moving image from Hong Kong, Greater China, Asia, and beyond.
Around 1,500 works drawn from the M+ Collections will be presented in the 17,000 square-metre exhibition space that spans across thirty-three galleries and other display spaces in the museum.
The museum’s opening displays will include six thematic exhibitions drawn from different areas of strength in the M+ Collections, featuring visual artworks, moving image works, design objects, architectural projects and archival items from M+ Collections, which the museum has been building since 2012. The exhibitions are:
- Hong Kong: Here and Beyond (G/F Main Hall Gallery) – divided into four chapters, Here, Identities, Places and Beyond, the exhibition captures the city’s transformation and unique visual culture from the 1960s to the present;
- M+ Sigg Collection: From Revolution to Globalisation (2/F Sigg Galleries) – a chronological survey of the development of contemporary Chinese art from the 1970s through the 2000s drawn from the M+ Sigg Collection;
- Things, Spaces, Interactions (2/F East Galleries) – a thematic and chronological exploration of international design and architecture over the last seventy years and their relevance to our lives today;
- Individuals, Networks, Expressions (2/F South Galleries) – a narrative of post-war international visual art told from the perspective of Asia;
- Antony Gormley: Asian Field (2/F West Gallery) – an expansive installation of tens of thousands of clay figurines created by the world-renowned British sculptor together with over 300 villagers from a Guangdong village in five days in 2003, reflecting the country’s vast territory and population; and
- The Dream of the Museum (2/F Courtyard Galleries) – a global constellation of conceptual art practices at the heart of M+’s unique Asian context.
In addition to the main exhibition galleries, M+ will present a series of commissions and displays throughout its public spaces, including the M+ Facade, the Grand Stair, the Studio, the Roof Garden, and the Found Space.
Designed by a global team of the world-renowned architecture practice Herzog & de Meuron in partnership with TFP Farrells and Arup, the 65,000-square-metre M+ building is among Hong Kong’s most iconic landmarks, both monumental in its architectural form and radically open in its position in the urban landscape. Located on the Victoria Harbour waterfront, the monumental architecture consists of a striking terracotta tile-clad tower, featuring a dynamic LED system on the south facade for the display of M+ content, defining the museum’s place within the urban landscape and contributing to the city’s vibrant night-time environment. The Found Space, M+’s signature display space for major installations, is a striking setting at the B2 level defined by the alignment of the underground rail tunnels above which the M+ building sits.
M+ visitors will also enjoy the one-of-a-kind dynamic experience in the M+ building, which features amenities including two museum shops, restaurants, and the Roof Garden which commands spectacular views of Hong Kong’s historic skyline. Among them, The Other Shop and CURATOR Creative Café at M+ located at B1 level of the building are already open to the public.
Henry Tang Ying-yen, Chairman of the Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, underscores the significance of the opening of M+ for both the West Kowloon Cultural District and Hong Kong. ‘The official opening of M+ marks a major milestone in delivering the vision for the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District as a vital contribution to the future of Hong Kong, building on its reputation as one of the world’s leading arts and cultural hubs. We will make M+ a must-visit destination for local, regional, and international visitors.’
Victor Lo, Chairman of the M+ Board, said, ‘We are delighted to open the doors of M+ this November, welcoming the public to Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture. It is a world-class platform to foster exchange between Hong Kong and the world, and we hope the museum inspires and enriches the lives of the city’s residents and international visitors alike.’
Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+ said, ‘I firmly believe that the future history of the art museum will be written to a significant degree in Asia. Few institutions will be more pivotal to that story than M+, a brand new centre for visual culture and a world-class landmark for a great international city. M+ delivers the stories from our part of the world, told by voices participating in and influencing the global conversation.’
To launch the museum, a special celebratory programme of live performances, talks, tours, workshops, screenings, and online events will run across three weekends following the museum opening.
Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Curatorial and Chief Curator, M+ said, ‘M+ was founded in Hong Kong with an ambitious mission to create a new kind of multidisciplinary cultural institution dedicated to visual culture. No other museum has created a team, cultivated expertise, and invested resources and infrastructure to realise such a transformative vision on this scale. Compared to leading modern art museums in the West, M+ will look very different, because our vantage point on this side of the world is distinct. This is a multidisciplinary contemporary collection, grounded in Asia and like no other in the world.’
M+ is also pleased to announce its partnership with international publisher Thames & Hudson. The partnership combines the publisher’s seventy years of illustrated book publishing experience and global reach with the unique mandate of M+, and helps expand the dialogue M+ has been constructing with audiences around the world.
Starting from the date of opening, M+ will be open from Tuesday to Sunday (10:00am–6:00pm) except a few public holidays, with opening hours extending to 10:00pm on Friday.
To mark the museum opening, admission fees to the M+ galleries are waived* for twelve months from the date of opening for Hong Kong residents with valid identification. Visit the M+ website at https://mplus.org.hk/ for more information on M+.
The public is welcome to join M+ Membership and support the development of museum through sponsorship, donations, and patronage. For details, please visit http://mplus.org.hk/membership. M+ members will enjoy greater access to the museum and exclusive privileges.
* The arrangement on waiving of admission fee will be subject to further review.
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, it is 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. M+ is 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 West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest and most ambitious cultural projects in the world. 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.