The overwhelming M + EJINSIGHT – ejinsight.com
Spacious. Ambitious. Controversial. That was my first impression of M +, the museum for contemporary art, which celebrates its premiere in about two weeks.
The new West Kowloon Cultural District museum couldn’t come at a better time to cheer up the people of Hong Kong. After two tough years, it’s refreshing to see the birth of M +, which took nearly 10 long years from concept to completion, is a little slower compared to the world’s most efficient city.
But the wait is worth it. When I first walked into the premises on Appreciation Day last weekend, I couldn’t help but think that it was Hong Kong’s Tate Modern.
In every way, the new addition to Victoria Harbor is similar to the Queen’s Walk along the Thames as we replace the Observation Wheel with the London Eye, the Xiqu Center with the Southbank Center and many delicious Borough Market-style restaurants.
You can tell almost immediately that M + is the baby of Herzog & de Meuron, who designed the Tate Modern in London and also the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. The Swiss architects know best how to use space, a luxurious element of a small town, and to integrate the underground constraints perfectly into the museum.
As such, I could imagine Lars Nittve, the founding director of M + and Tate, whom I had the privilege to work with 10 years ago, would be delighted to see the baby too.
With around 1,500 works on display in its 33 galleries and other exhibition spaces, M + has a rich collection of 8,000 works of art, design and architecture, moving images and the visual culture of Hong Kong in the 20th and 21st centuries.
There is indeed much to see, starting with the calligraphy of Tsang Tsou Choi or the “King of Kowloon” and several references from the late singer Anita Mui, photographer Michael Wolf all in the “Hong Kong: Here and Beyond” session. “.
However, it’s a bit ambitious to include different aspects of Hong Kong and therefore not easy to track without proper curation.
I’m looking forward to the M + Sigg Collection from Uli Sigg, a former Swiss diplomat who owns the world’s most comprehensive collection of contemporary Chinese art, including the controversial Ai Weiwei and Yue Minjun.
At the time of the visit, the Sigg Galleries are closed. Based on previous media reports, it is questionable whether some of the controversial works of art will be shown publicly – at least not at this time, which is sensitive in terms of security law.
Art is a matter of taste and we can enjoy it in different ways. With this in mind, we look forward to welcoming M + to Hong Kong and around the world.
M + will be open to the public on November 12th.
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