The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) held its 80th meeting today.

WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Duncan Pescod reported that the progress of M+ project remains solid and rapidly approaching the stage on the project where the weather-tightness for the building envelope was achieved. In parallel, the WKCDA is beginning the process of planning for all the necessary statutory inspections for the end of 2019.

Freespace in the Art Park will come into operation from mid-June 2019, and in preparation for this venue opening, Freespace is now going through the final stages of licensing. The main works contract of Lyric Theatre Complex commenced in November 2018 with the occupation permit targeted to be granted in 2023. The construction works for the superstructure stage of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) Project have commenced following the recent completion of the foundations and some excavation works.

The WKCDA was pleased to report the appointment of Dr Daisy Yiyou Wang to the position of Deputy Director, Curatorial and Programming for the HKPM. Dr Wang will be responsible for the HKPM’s research, collections, exhibitions, publications, and the learning and engagement functions in support of the museum’s overarching mission and strategic planning. Her appointment is effective from 2 July 2019.

The Noguchi for Danh Vo: Counterpoint exhibition which opened on 16 November 2018 has successfully completed on 22 April 2019. This exhibition was well received by the public and the media and attracted total of nearly 21,000 audience. The WKCDA was pleased to note that M+ and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council present the exhibition Shirley Tse: Stakeholders, Hong Kong in Venice as the Hong Kong Collateral Event at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The Venice exhibition is a solo presentation of work by Los Angeles–based Hong Kong artist Shirley Tse, curated by Guest Curator Christina Li with Doryun Chong (Deputy Director, Curatorial, and Chief Curator, M+) acting as Consulting Curator.

The Sigg Prize, established by M+ in Hong Kong in 2018, was formerly the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA), founded by Uli Sigg in 1998. The Sigg Prize is open to artists born or working in the Greater China region, with the intention to highlight and promote on an international scale the diverse and exciting artistic work and cultural dialogues taking place in the region. For the inaugural edition of the prize, six artists (namely, Hu Xiaoyuan, Liang Shuo, Lin Yilin, Shen Xin, Tao Hui, and Samson Young) were selected by an international jury. The six shortlisted artists will be invited to present works from the past two years in the Sigg Prize exhibition, which will be held at the M+ Pavilion between 6 December 2019 and 13 April 2020. The Sigg Prize jury will select the winner based on the exhibition presentation and the final result will be announced in January 2020.

For the Xiqu Centre opening programmes from 30 December 2018 to 31 March 2019, the total audience for opening programmes is over 58,000 and the percentage of ticket sales is 95% or above.The utilisation rate of the Grand Theatre from May to March next year is over 75%, and we expect the bookings to increase steadily.

In June, West Kowloon and Le French May co-present the Hong Kong debut of French choreographer Christian Rizzo’s acclaimed dance work “From a True Story” at Freespace. The piece incorporates eight dancers and two live drummers who drive the performance with repetitive, earthy, tribal rhythms, creating tension with the dancers somewhere between dialogue and battle.

Mr Pescod was pleased to report the community dance project WE Dance has been recognised with the “Outstanding Dance Education and Community Dance” award at the 21st Hong Kong Dance Awards. WE Dance stands for “Welcome Everyone to Dance”. Now in its third year, we invited Asian dance artists and companies to host free public dance workshops, seminars, performances and workshops for dance practitioners for seven consecutive months.

Freespace Happening, which took place monthly between September 2018 to March 2019, showcase outdoor performances in the Art Park. The programmes fromDecember 2018 to February 2019 were granted the "Green Outdoor Event" title in recognition of our adoption of significant environmental measures and efforts to reduce waste. The “Green Outdoor Event” certificate was presented to us by the Environmental Campaign Committee in a Presentation Ceremony for the Hong Kong Awards for Environmental Excellence and Hong Kong Green Organisation Certification on 29 April 2019.

Meanwhile, the Tree App ('Discover Trees at West Kowloon' Digital Guide) has recently attained a Bronze Award for Best Original Content at the Mobile Excellence Awards 2019.

Remarks

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.