Hong Kong Seeks to Set the Standard for Asian Museums

Leading the way in establishing Hong Kong's ambitious new $2.8 cultural district is the M+ Museum, which, at more than twice the size of the Tate Modern, intends to be Hong Kong’s answer to the Centre Pompidou or the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

Former director of London's Tate Modern, Lars Nittve is now the executive director of Hong Kong's new contemporary museum M+, also known as the Museum of Visual Culture, which is set to open in 2017. The museum is a labor of love for Nittve as he seeks to shed light on the vibrant but largely unseen works by contemporary Chinese artists. Nittve wants M+ to "raise the bar for Asian museums" and make China a heavy hitter in the art world, in the same realm as Paris' Centre Pompidou and Bilbao's Guggenheim, reports Frederik Balfour.

The M+ museum, designed by Foster + Partners, received HK$6 billion from the Chinese government for construction and collection purchasing. It is the central piece of the new "government-backed HK$21.6 billion ($2.79 billion)" West Kowloon Cultural District development, "a 40- hectares (98.8 acres) project that will encompass 15 performing- arts venues and a large public park on a piece of reclaimed land across from Hong Kong island."

The collections to be housed in M+ have come in part through a large donations from Swiss businessman Uli Sigg, a respected collector. Nittve believes that M+ will serve as the art hub that Hong Kong so desperately needs, "a place that's trusted by the international art community as something that sets the standard."

Full Story: Hong Kong $2.8 Billion Arts Hub to Fill Cultural Void

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