The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA or the Authority) held its 92nd meeting today.
WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Duncan Pescod, started by reporting the Authority’s achievement in ensuring construction site safety at the West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon or the District). The latest quarterly statistics show that after completing nearly 39 million manhours over the last few years, the accident frequency rate of the District’s construction sites remains at a low level of 0.13 accidents per 100,000 manhours. Mr Pescod said the statistics, when benchmarked against the industry, is impressive. Safety continues to be the Authority’s top priority. Mr Pescod reiterated that WKCDA takes nothing for granted and must continue a focused effort from everyone on a daily basis to maintain this situation.
Mr Pescod provided an update on the M+ project that the statutory inspections have been completed. The formal issuance of the Occupation Permit for the museum is expected to take several more weeks after some outstanding issues are resolved. It is expected that the final fit-out of the museum’s public spaces will be completed in November 2020, followed by staff move-in. Mr Pescod thanked the colleagues, consultants, as well as all the statutory authorities, especially the Fire Services Department and the Buildings Department, for their time and effort made.
Construction works at the Lyric Theatre Complex and the Integrated Basement (IB), as well as the Hong Kong Palace Museum and central Zone 2 IB projects, have continued to progress well.
On arts and culture, Mr Pescod was pleased to report that the M+ Pavilion reopened on 16 September 2020 and resumed normal opening hours. The current installation Shirley Tse: Stakes and Holders is extended to 1 November 2020, giving more visitors the chance to experience this amazing programme.
The Authority reminded that enhanced hygiene measures and capacity control have been implemented at the M+ Pavilion to safeguard the health of visitors and staff members. Visitors are required to undergo temperature checks, wear masks properly and follow the Government’s latest measures on group gathering to keep a safe social distance during their visit.
Taking into account the ongoing COVID-19 situation, M+ has continued to experiment with its digital programmes across different digital touchpoints, offering a variety of viewpoints, and layered opportunities for interpretation. For the M+ Pavilion exhibition Shirley Tse: Stakes and Holders, M+ has hosted live-video streaming and created bilingual digests to ensure access to content for different language groups by collaborating with artist Shirley Tse and guest curator Christina Li who have not been able to travel to Hong Kong. In addition, M+ continued to develop the online learning initiatives with the addition of ‘Creative Recipes’ and the ‘Create My Museum’ video series and has also produced regular strands of content on M+ Stories and social media platforms, including artist interviews and narratives around the M+ Collections.
Mr Pescod welcomed the Government’s recent announcement regarding performance venues. Performances and programmes at the Xiqu Centre and Freespace will return with effect from the beginning of October. The Xiqu Centre will present ‘Experimental Chinese Opera Festival 2020’ from 10 October to 15 November 2020, highlighting original productions and new perspectives on the possibilities of Chinese opera. The festival will showcase two award-winning productions Wenguang Explores the Valley and Farewell My Concubine (New Adaptation), and a specially curated series of Creative Sharing Sessions to encourage local and overseas creators, performers and audiences to exchange ideas online. As performances resume, certain programmes will continue to be presented digitally via the District’s website www.westkowloon.hk.
From October to December 2020, Freespace is presenting ‘Cypher’. It is a three-month encounter of live and online dance and movement events featuring a new online performance and VR (virtual reality) video from Hong Kong Dance Company, a live online showcase of works by Japanese choreographer and multi-disciplinary artist Hiroaki Umeda, and an original cross-genre blend of dance-off and theatrical performance directed by local artist Kenny Leung and co-curated with Freespace. ‘Cypher’ also includes a range of master classes, movement and graffiti workshops, a mural project and other activities in and around Freespace. Tickets are available now on the District’s website www.westkowloon.hk. There are more programmes to come and please stay tuned at the District’s website and Facebook page for the latest news.
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.