M+ Museum has announced its grand opening for Friday, November 12, with an opening ceremony and media tour scheduled for the day prior. The upside-down-T monolith of a building boasts 17,000 sq. metres of exhibition space across 33 galleries, along with a rooftop garden, two museum shops, and cafés and restaurants. M+ is being touted as Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture.
It is part of the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District along with already opened Xiqu Centre, a performing arts theatre, and the upcoming Hong Kong Palace Museum which will exhibit artifacts from Beijing’s Palace Museum; the government envisions the southern harbourfront as a future international arts and cultural hub.
A cluster of museums dedicated to art and design was first proposed in 2003. Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed the National Library of Israel, won the rights to the design project in 2013. Originally scheduled to open in 2017, construction was slowed by controversy, budget overruns, management issues, and a sinkhole in 2019.
Other details announced by the museum are one year of free entry for Hong Kong residents (regular admission and concession prices are $120 and $60 respectively), and six exhibitions including a collection of contemporary Chinese art and tens of thousands of clay figurines created by British sculptor Antony Gormley and 300 Guangdong villagers. It’s still to be determined whether artists who are critical of China will be displayed.
To draw visitors, live performances, talks, tours, workshops, and screenings will run for three weeks following opening day. Museum hours will be 10am to 6pm from Tuesdays to Sundays, with extended hours until 10pm on Fridays.
M+ Museum, West Kowloon Cultural District, No. 8 Austin Road West, Kowloon | +852 2200 0217
All images courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District