WKCDA held ceremony for first permanent structure of Hong Kong’s future museum M+.

Hong Kong’s WKCDA celebrated the completion of M+’s first permanent building, the M+ Pavilion, on 22 July 2016. Designed by 3 Hong Kong-born architects, the Pavilion will host temporary exhibitions up until M+’s opening in 2019.

M+ Pavilion. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

M+ Pavilion. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

On 22 July 2016, the construction of the M+ Pavilion, part of the development of M+ Museum of Visual Culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong, was completed. The WKCDA held a Dedication Ceremony to mark this important milestone in the development of the museum and art district.

The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world, and is located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. It will be a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong, including a complex of theatres, performance spaces and the M+ Museum, slated to open in 2019 as one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, encompassing 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture, and moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond.

M+ Pavilion. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

M+ Pavilion. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

The team of WKCDA and museum executives and the architects who worked on the project for the M+ Pavilion were present at the Dedication Ceremony on 22 July, including Mrs Carrie Lam, Chairman of the WKCDA Board, Mr Duncan Pescod, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WKCDA, Ms Suhanya Raffel, new Executive Director of M+, Mr Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Chief Curator and Acting Director of M+, and Mr Vincent Pang, Managing Director of VPANG Architects Ltd.

The M+ Pavilion boasts a 310-square-metre exhibition space, and is located in the north-east segment of the Art Park, near the future main building of M+ and the Artist Square. The three Hong Kong-born architects Vincent Pang from VPANG architects ltd, Tynnon Chow from JET Architecture Inc and Lisa Cheung, met in New York in 1999 and have since developed their individual practices. They were appointed to design the M+ Pavilion after achieving first prize in the international design competition in January 2014.

Alongside the WKCDA, they developed the design of the Pavilion, which, according to the press release,

is designed to offer a respite from hectic city life with a smart simplistic approach that allows it to blend into its environment. Mirrored external walls reflect the surrounding expanses of greenery and immerse the building in the Art Park setting. To further this experience, the Pavilion’s main exhibition space is elevated, allowing it to float above the foliage, creating the opportunity for artwork to be appreciated against a backdrop of the unparalleled Hong Kong Island skyline with spectacular views of Victoria Harbour. Inside, the gallery space feature polished concrete floors and white walls – a flexible backdrop for multidisciplinary art exhibitions and performances.

M+ Pavilion.Aerial view. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

M+ Pavilion. Aerial view. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

In the run-up to the opening of M+ in 2019, the M+ Pavilion will be hosting a series of temporary, thematic exhibitions drawing selected artworks from the M+ Collection, encompassing the three main areas of visual art, design and architecture, and moving image.

The inaugural exhibition will take place in September 2016, entitled “Tsang Kin-Wah: Nothing”, a new commission by the Hong Kong artist following his critically acclaimed exhibition “The Infinite Nothing”, which represented Hong Kong at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Other thematic exhibitions following the first will highlight M+’s growing design collection and present a project on Hong Kong popular culture. M+ has so far already organised several exhibitions and public programmes held at external venues, including “Mobile M+: Moving Image”, “Mobile M+: Live Art”, “M+ Sigg Collection Exhibition” and “M+ Rover”, among others.

Display panels at the ground floor lobby of M+ Pavilion depicting the evolution of M+ over the past five years. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

Display panels at the ground floor lobby of M+ Pavilion depicting the evolution of M+ over the past five years. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

After the opening of the main M+ building in 2019, where the museum will be housed, the Pavilion will be available for Hong Kong’s vibrant creative communities – artists, designers, architects, and other organisations – to stage exhibitions and events.

As Ms Lam reveals at the Dedication Ceremony, the opening of the M+ Pavillion will soon be followed by the opening of the Xiqu Centre in 2018, the Art Park including the Freespace with a black box theatre and an outdoor stage from 2018 in stages, as well as the M+ Building in 2019. The Lyric Theatre Complex has also entered detailed design stage and is expected to complete in 2020 and open in 2021.

M+ Pavilion. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

M+ Pavilion. Image courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and M+, Hong Kong.

Ms Lam is quoted as saying:

We will continue to develop the WKCD into a world-class art and cultural hub where everyone may relax, be inspired and enjoy an extraordinary cultural experience. […] WKCD is a long-term strategic investment by the Hong Kong SAR Government to promote the development of art and creative industries, meet the growing cultural needs of the public, attract and nurture artistic talents, and strengthen Hong Kong’s position as an international art and cultural metropolis. Such a vision and commitment is something that should make us proud.

CEO of WKCDA Mr Pescod said, as quoted in the press release,

The dedication of M+ Pavilion is a small yet important step. This is a clear statement that we are going to deliver this ambitious project for the people of Hong Kong.

C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related Topics: News, museums, events in Hong Kong

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Brittney

By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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