The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) held its 79th meeting today. 

WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Duncan Pescod reported that progress of the M+ Project has continued at a good pace with the new Management Contractor. It is anticipated that all the remaining civil and structural works will be completed in the coming few months. The opening of the museum now looks likely to be end of 2020 or early 2021.

The Art Park has been granted all the necessary permits and licences, which allowed us to open a second phase of the Promenade area and the area near the dry river bed. Freespace, located centrally in the Park, has completed the statutory inspection process and is anticipated to have the soft opening in May.

Located in the West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon) waterfront promenade, “Growing Up”, the winning pavilion design of the first WKCDA Young Architects & Designers Competition, was opened on 28 February 2019 and will be open to the public for at least six months. The Pavilion enjoys stunning harbour and sunset views, responding to its location as part of the fabric in West Kowloon. This is the first public art and design installation in the West Kowloon.

There will be a series of M+ events and programmes throughout the Art Basel Hong Kong week. M+ is organising the M+ Human Library from 27 to 31 March 2019, borrowing the concept of the ‘human library’, where stories and experiences are shared through conversations. The Library offers two types of ‘reading’ experiences: ‘Dialogue with M+ Staff’ and ‘A Walk with Creatives’, where people can spend time with our staff members or engage with some of the creative practitioners we work with. We hope that through interacting with the ‘human books’ that are part of the museum, the public can understand the museum better.

M+ will also be premiering Cheng Ran and Shao Yanpeng’s live cinema event M+ Live Art: Miraculous Trajectories, which is a new 70-minute film with a live electronic soundtrack on 29 March 2019. 

Meanwhile, M+ will be announcing the shortlist of finalists for the Sigg Prize on 29 March 2019. The award will be given to an outstanding artist working in the Greater China region, including Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, later this year. 

Members also noted that over 2,800 people joined the last Freespace Happening of the season on 9 and 10 March 2019.  Freespace Happening will return later in the year under a new format and with new performers.

In May 2019, WKCDA will welcome the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe with the complete series of Four Dreams in the Camellia Hall, a Kunqu production rarely staged in its entirety, at the Grand Theatre in the Xiqu Centre. Written by the influential Ming dynasty playwright, Tang Xianzu, the collection includes four classic plays: ‘A Pair of Purple Hairpins’, ‘The Peony Pavilion’, ‘A Dream Under the Southern Bough’ and ‘The Tale of Handan’.

In May and June 2019, the renowned Shanghai Pingtan Troupe will present Gao Bowen performs Blossoms in the Tea House Theatre. It is a four-part adaptation of the award-winning novel by Shanghainese author Jin Yucheng in the traditional Pingtan form. Singing in Mandarin, Shanghainese and Suzhou dialects, artist Gao Bowen brings to life an intricate tale and showcases the unique charm of this narrative musical tradition.

WKCDA recently participated in the Hong Kong Trade Development Council Education & Careers Expo 2019 for the second year in a row. We have also taken part in various Campus Career Fairs in the past months including The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University. Over 800 potential recruits visited our booths at the Expo and campus career fairs.

In addition to the West Kowloon corporate website, we continued boosting our employer brand via social media platforms to cater for younger people, millennials and job seekers in the digital age. Conventional channels, like newspapers, are also used to cover more traditional audiences.

Mr Pescod was pleased to report that between 15 and 24 March 2019, West Kowloon presented the third garden display ─ ‘Freespace in Blossom’ at the Hong Kong Flower Show 2019 in Victoria Park. It took home the Grand Award for Design Excellence (Landscape Display).

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