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M+, Hong Kong, 
Photo by Virgile Simon Bertrand, 
© Virgile Simon Bertrand, 
Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.

M+ Museum Opens in Hong Kong

After years in the making, the contemporary visual culture museum, M+ opens to the public this Friday, November 12 in Hong Kong. With architecture that commands attention, overlooking the Victoria Harbour waterfront, and an inaugural collection that rivals those of Paris, New York, and London, M+ promises a one-of-a-kind art experience. The building, which features a terracotta-clad tower, a signature display space, and a massive LED display on its south facade houses the museum’s dynamic programs and commissions. 

Helmed by Director Suhanya Raffel, M+ is dedicated to visualizing the 20th and 21st centuries by filling its space with work that reflects the city’s ever-transformative visual culture. In adapting the traditional art museum, Raffel said “I firmly believe that the future history of the art museum will be written to a significant degree in Asia…M+ delivers the stories from our part of the world, told by voices participating in and influencing the global conversation.”

M+ Museum, Courtesy M+ and Virgile Simon Bertrand.

Indeed cultural stories on view beginning this week include “Hong Kong: Here and Beyond,” an investigation in visual art from architecture, to cinema, and design from the 1960s onward presented in four parts: Here, Identities, Places and Beyond. From the M+ Sigg Collection is “From Revolution to Globalisation,” a survey of Chinese art from the 1970s into the 2000s. The museum, operating as a cultural hub for Hong Kong in relation to the rest of the art world, brings in international artists, for instance Antony Gormley, who presents his installation “Asian Field,” made up of tens of thousands of clay figurines done as part of an even greater project with villagers in Guangdong over the course of only five days in 2003. 

The Main Hall, M+, Hong Kong, Photo by Virgile Simon Bertrand, © Virgile Simon Bertrand, Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron.

Through its programming, shops, restaurants, and rooftop garden, M+ aims to offer local and international visitors a fresh space to experience the culture of Hong Kong like never before. The museum, designed by architect team Herzog & de Meuron, was built with an open concept and minimal barriers, making it easy for visitors to move around exhibition and programming spaces.  The Roof Garden connects the museum with the district’s Art Park and offers sweeping views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. Meanwhile, the museum gift shop, the Other Shop, offers merchandise and gifts, aiming to connect visitor’s everyday lives with visual culture. 

The museum’s Learning Hub hosts M+’s programming including forums, workshops, and seminars. M+ also champions sustainability and accessibility in the design of the museum. The museum adopts Hong Kong’s benchmark system for green building, minimizing energy consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions while providing occupancy and waste control systems. 

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