The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) held its 78th meeting today. 

WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Duncan Pescod reported that, the Xiqu Centre celebrated its Grand Opening on 20 January 2019. To mark the occasion, Mrs Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and Mr Henry Tang, Chairman of the Board of WKCDA, unveiled the Xiqu Centre calligraphy by the late Professor Jao Tsung-I which was inscribed on the wall of the Atrium. The calligraphy reflects the cultural legacy of Hong Kong and affirms the Xiqu Centre’s mission to conserve, promote and develop the art of xiqu. Following the unveiling ceremony, nearly 1,000 guests were enchanted by a performance of the legendary opera, The Reincarnation of Red Plum, curated by renowned Cantonese opera virtuoso Dr Pak Suet-sin. Tickets were sold out for the other 9 performances. 

In addition to opening performance, the three-month Opening Season features a series of Spring Festival Showcase hosted by the Hong Kong Cantonese Opera Chamber of Commerce from 9 February to 1 March 2019. The Opening Season will be concluded in March by the China Theatre Association Plum Blossom Award Art Troupe, which presents four exciting performances, highlighting distinct features of eight different xiqu genres. 

At the Tea House Theatre, Standard Chartered Tea House Theatre Experience is specially designed to introduce new audiences to Chinese traditional theatre. The 90-minute performance, presented by Tea House Rising Stars Troupe, showcases a selection of short excerpts demonstrating a range of vocal and musical styles. It includes narration by an expert moderator to help newcomers gain insight into the history of the art form. 

On the construction front, good progress is now very evident for the M+ project under the new Management Contractor arrangements. A programme is now in place for the completion of the construction followed by the opening of the museum targeted for the end of 2020. 

The Freespace building, located centrally in the Art Park, is nearing completion and going through its final statutory and licensing inspections. In the Nursery Park, the winning Pavilion design in the Hong Kong Young Architects and Designers Competition, Growing Up, has been erected at its waterfront location and will soon open for the public to enjoy. 

For the Hong Kong Palace Museum project, the superstructure tender has been completed while work on the foundations is almost completed. 

Mr Pescod was pleased to report that as part of M+’s ongoing commitment to building a collection of works of significant global cultural value for the museum, M+ has acquired the internationally important Archigram Archive, a comprehensive record of the globally influential experimental architecture collective. The core of the archive consists of approximately 20,000 items, including more than 3,000 drawings, prints, sketches, models, videos, ephemera, and other material, representing some 200 projects from the 1960s and 1970s.

Members also noted that this month's Freespace Happening, with a feast of live music, was held on 10 February and attracted an attendance of over 3,000. Next Freespace Happening will take place on 9 and 10 March for a special two-day season finale.

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. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces and museums, the 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.