The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA or the Authority) held its 84th meeting today. In the meeting, WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Duncan Pescod reported that the construction works outside of the incident area in the Lyric Theatre Complex site of L1 Works Contract had resumed in August, following the temporary suspension due to a leaking cofferdam which occurred at the south east corner of the site. The Authority continues to work with the statutory authorities about full resumption of the work and does not anticipate any change to the completion date of the project. A full report to the Board on the incident will be completed soon and the latest development will be submitted to the Legislative Council Joint Subcommittee to Monitor the Implementation of the West Kowloon Cultural District Project in due course.

Construction on the M+ project has now hit its peak. The museum and conservation and storage facility are water-tight, an important step that will allow WKCDA to complete all the fitting out works to the galleries and public spaces in the months ahead. It remains the Authority’s goal to secure the completion of the M+ building in the first quarter of next year to allow 9 to 12 months to the team to fit out the museum for opening.

The Hong Kong Palace Museum has also seen good progress and the project remains on track in terms of cost and time. The public can now visibly see the superstructure slowly rising out from the ground.

The deadline for submissions under the ACE (Art, Commerce and Exhibitions) Expression of Interest exercise expired on 26 August 2019. The Authority is pleased with the response. WKCDA will now push ahead with completing the tender documents for issuing in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Xiqu Centre has been listed by the Time magazine as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Places of 2019. At the Xiqu Centre, the public can enjoy some of the region’s best Chinese opera performances, join workshops and seminars, and learn about Cantonese opera at the Tea House Theatre Experience. The open Atrium is also a great place to relax and escape the summer heat and treat yourself to a variety of food and beverages. This latest accolade will put the Xiqu Centre firmly on the map as a must visit destination in Hong Kong.

Last year in August, Mr Pescod reported in the Board meeting that the Xiqu Centre would be featured in one of the HK$100 denominations of the 2018 new series Hong Kong banknotes. The Authority has worked closely with the Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited on the project. Now, the full 2018 series HK$100 notes are available at the three note-issuing banks. An exhibition on the thematic design for the HK$100 denominations of the 2018 new series Hong Kong banknotes is now showing at the Xiqu Centre Atrium until 22 September 2019.

As for M+, it launched its collaboration with the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, a renowned Japanese contemporary art institution, through its global partnership initiative M+ International. M+ and the Mori Art Museum will present a symposium consisting of a two-day conference followed by a public discussion in Tokyo from 25 to 26 September 2019.

The symposium, titled ‘What Do Collections Mean to Museums?’ and convened by Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Curatorial and Chief Curator, M+; and Kataoka Mami, Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum with Yokoyama Ikko, Lead Curator, Design and Architecture, M+. The symposium provides a platform for museum professionals to discuss current issues facing museums and to inspire new ways of thinking about the meaning of museum collections.

Reflecting on ideas raised during the two-day conference, the public discussion, titled ‘What Is the New Thinking around Collections in Modern and Contemporary Museums in Asia?’, takes museums of different regional, historical, and financial backgrounds, and different administrative structures, as a starting point. Examining the activities of these museums can inform investigations of new models and future possibilities for museum collections.

WKCDA is committed to making the West Kowloon Cultural District an inclusive and accessible place for everyone. The Authority has been engaging the disability community in the design process of our facilities and organising inclusive activities for our audience. With a dedicated team on accessibility within the Marketing and Customer Experience Department since 2016, the Authority launched a policy on universal accessibility last year to enhance accessibility on a district-wide level.

Mr Pescod is delighted that the work of the accessibility team has recently been recognised by the international community. Ms Cymie Yeung, the Authority’s Accessibility Coordinator has been selected as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’s LEAD® Award for Emerging Leaders in the field of cultural access for people with disabilities and older adults. This is the first time this award was presented to an international recipient representing a non-U.S. organisation at Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD®) Conference in Denver, Colorado, the United States in August. The Authority is very proud of the work carried out by Ms Yeung and her team, and with their efforts, the Authority will continue to push for the best standards with the West Kowloon Cultural District’s accessibility initiatives to create a truly welcoming place for all.

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.