The M+ contemporary art museum, whose construction started in 2014 and opened its doors on November 12, 2021, is one of the cornerstones of the West Kowloon Cultural District. The project, planned by Foster + Partners in 2010, is the largest-scale project of a cultural district in the world. Located in a 40-hectare expropriated area around Victoria Harbor, the museum aims to establish a link between the thriving urban culture and the West Kowloon, Victoria Harbor areas. The Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron has undertaken the design of M+, which is an extension of the efforts to make the region a cultural center. The building, which draws attention with its design, is also one of the first major landmarks completed in West Kowloon. M+ is expected to be an important contemporary art institution in the world and Asia in the coming years.
The building, which utilizes the Express Airport tunnel passing under the area as a part of the design, was designed considering the needs of the region. With many entry and exit points, the museum redefines the indoor and outdoor experience. With 65,000 square meters of exhibition, screening, training, office and event spaces, as well as a media library, conservation and warehouse facility, M+ creates a platform for all forms of cultural expression. In the shop section, it includes the productions of artists and brings together sustainable design ideas with the audience. The exhibition area spanning 17 thousand square meters contains 33 galleries of different sizes and features, and 3 cinemas. The tower, where the research center is located, also functions as a giant screen that can be seen from Hong Kong island in the evenings thanks to the LEDs placed. M+ aims to make art visible to everyone through this screen.
Sharing the 20th and 21st century visual culture from the perspective of Hong Kong with a global vision, M+ also undertakes missions such as informing the public, bringing the society together, opening a space for diversity and creativity, while inspiring and delighting.
Opening its doors with 6 exhibitions that will feature pieces that have been brought together since 2012 to form the M+ collection, the museum also showcases special commission pieces for the first time. The opening where 1500 works will welcome the visitors, includes a wide multi-disciplinary selection such as conceptual art, moving image, design, architectural projects and archive pieces. One of the unique features of M+ is the terrace garden, which is the size of 2 football fields, specially designed for the museum.
“M+ Sigg Collection: From Revolution to Globalization” is one of the biggest exhibitions of the opening. Donated to the museum by Swiss art collector Uli Sigg, the $163 million collection covers the development of contemporary Chinese art from the 1970s to the 2000s. “Hong Kong: Here and Beyond”, exhibited in the Main Hall Gallery, reveals the transformation and visual cultural heritage of Hong Kong from the 1960s to the present. While “Individuals, Networks, Expressions” focuses on post-war international visual art from an Asian perspective, the exhibition “Things, Spaces, Interactions” focuses on developments in the last 70 years of international architecture and design.
The work called “Asian Field”, which consists of 200,000 clay figurines, made by the British sculptor Antony Gormley in 2003 with more than 300 members of a Guangdong village, is among the pieces that attract attention in the exhibition.
The “Dream of the Museum” exhibition, which describes M+’s unique vision in a visual language, is also on display at the Courtyard Gallery.
It is possible to browse through the collection of M+, which also meets art lovers in the digital environment, on its website.