ART News


In Hong Kong, the museum opens its doors offering a space where narratives of art can be re-written from a different perspective.

5th January 2021 | Guest Writer: Rachele Rosina
On November 12, 2021, after several delays, M+ finally opened to the public.
The museum is based in the West Kowloon cultural district of Hong Kong, and with its 65.000 square meters, double the size of the Tate Modern in London, it aims to be one of the biggest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world.

M+ (courtesy of M+) ©WKCDA photo: Kitmin Lee

Overlooking on Victoria Harbour, the building has already become one of the landmarks of the city. Shaped in a distinctive upside-down' T', the lower part of the building offers space to thirty-three galleries, three cinemas, a Mediatheque with over 250 videos to stream, a Learning Hub for public programmes and a roof terrace. The tower accommodates offices, restaurants, the Research centre and the M+ Lounge, an exclusive space for Members and Patrons on the 11 floor.

Finally, its facade, animated by embedded LEDs lights, can be admired by the waterfront promenade on the opposite side of the harbour.
Kris Provoost. Herzog & de Meuron's M+ Museum. © Kris Provoost

However, size does not always matter: the M+ leadership is supported by its own permanent collections. The museum houses four permanent collections, ranging from fine art to design, covering also printed matter and a library of primary resources of invaluable importance to shed light on the artists' creative practice.

The core focus on Hong Kong, China, Asia and the rest of the world distinguishes M+ from any other museum of modern and contemporary art in the world. With the thematic area of Hong Kong as the backbone of the M+ collection, the museum's goal is to look at visual culture from a Hong Kong-centric point of view. China places at the second-tier of geographical priorities of the museum: the M+ Sigg Collection, with over 1500 pieces, is one of the most comprehensive collections of Chinese art, helping to backtrack the development of Chinese art from the 1950s to nowadays. The museum's collection also expands into Asia and beyond, pinpointing the region on the broader narrative and tracing transnational connections between the artworks.

In the spirit of M+ new ‘Hong Kongese’ perspective, we selected three artists linked to Hong Kong and housed at M+, and why you should know about them.
May Fung - Video Artist
May Fung is a Hong Kong-based artist. She began in the 1970s with independent films taken with her Super-8 camera and then turned to video art in the 1980s. In She Said Why Me (1989), a blinded woman representing the artist herself makes her way through the city, while her wonder is often interrupted by archive footage of women in different public contexts. The woman's uneasiness transfers the sense of anxiety of the people (women in particular) in search of a collective identity living in Hong Kong in the turmoil of 1989.

May Fung, She Said Why Me, 1989, VHS transferred to digital (colour, mono sound), 8 min. M+, Hong Kong. © May Fung

Liu Heung Shing - Photographer
Born in Hong Kong in 1951, Liu Heung Shing is a photojournalist and photographer.
In the late 1960's he moved to the US to study in New York. After graduating, he became a foreign correspondent and photo reporter for Time magazine. Stationed in China between the 1970s and mid-1980s, Liu Heung Shing witnessed the rapid changes of the post-Mao period. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for his work in Moscow during the announcement of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. His works, exhibited at M+ and highly controversial for their political hues, raised concerns on the possibility of censorship from the Capital.

Liu Heung-Shing, China After Mao, Beijing, Resumed production of Coca Cola in China, 1981, M+, Hong Kong. Gift of Liu Heung-Shing, 2012, © Liu Heung-Shing

Lui Shou-Kwan - Painter
Born in Guangzhou in 1919, Liu Shou-Kwan moved to Hong Kong in 1948. He is considered one of the leading ink painters of the 20th century and the founder of the Hong Kong New Ink Movement. His profound understanding of Chinese ink painting and Western contemporary art allowed him to create pieces that blend cultural feelings into a modern artistic expression. For example, in Hong Kong at Night (1961), the city lit is described with abstract washes of yellow, blue, grey, and black ink on the white paper.

Lui Shou-kwan, Hong Kong at Night, 1961, ink and colour on paper, M+, Hong Kong. © Helen C. Ting

About the Writer
Rachele Rosina specialises in Art of China, Japan and Korea.

After graduating in Beijing in Chinese Language and Culture, Rachele moved to London in 2018 to complete her MA in History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia at SOAS University of London.
Fascinated by the city’s restless art scene, she now works in the art industry.

With a focus on contemporary art and cultural studies, she is interested in the stories behind the artworks and wonders a lot about the future of art.


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