The M+ Museum, which is considered the first world museum of contemporary visual culture in Asia, just opened in Hong Kong last November.
It is located in the cultural district of West Kowloon, facing Hong Kong Island, on the Victoria Harbor waterfront, which can be reached by boat or car in a few minutes, and can be seen from the other side. side, already forming part of the skyline of this incredibly interesting island city. Architecturally speaking, the M+ museum consists of monumental horizontal and vertical volumes, an expansive podium and a strikingly slender tower, reflecting Herzog & de Meuron’s reading of the unique typologies of Hong Kong’s architectural landscape. Below the museum is the MTR airport express and the Tung Chung line with which it is very well connected.
The M+ building, from its collections to the museum itself, is the culmination of ten years of investment (not only in the Canary Islands do works take time to finish) and that experience of a museum of our time, which tells multidimensional and multidisciplinary narratives and that understand geographies and chronologies from a global perspective, is in the perfect museum for such works of art.
Designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron (authors also in Tenerife of the TEA and the Plaza de España), the museum shows from November 2021 outstanding collections of visual art, design and architecture of M+, as well as moving images of Hong Kong, China, and Asia in general. The museum has 33 galleries that house approximately 1,500 works of art, and this will continue for the first twelve months — that is, until December 2022 — and until then admission will be free for all visitors who come to see it. The new galleries currently display six exhibitions that invite visitors to explore the multidisciplinary and interregional themes and narratives of the collections that M+ has been collecting and preparing for years.
Hong Kong has been in the process of transforming the city for decades, and this is also shown in the content of the museum, which hosts a unique visual culture that shows experiences and artistic creations ranging from the 1960s to the present; For example, the M+ sigg Collection includes works from the revolution that has paved the way for globalization and presents a chronological study of the development of contemporary Chinese art from the 1970s to the 2000s; Another of the exhibitions, called Things, Spaces, Interactions, is dedicated to international design and architecture in the last 70 years; The exhibition Individuals, Networks, Expressions shows a narrative of post-war international visual art told from an Asian perspective; on the other hand, The Dream of the Museum, is a manifestation of a global constellation of conceptual art practices in the Asian context, and the show Antony Gormley: Asian Countryside, a massive installation of tens of thousands of clay figurines made in collaboration with 300 villagers from a Guangdong town;
In other words, it is more than just a museum, since its first steps deduce the intention of not only showing but teaching, and building a learning community that fosters empathy, respect, multiple perspectives and creativity through the visual culture for all audiences and is also an open and welcoming platform with creative learning experiences, M+ is dedicated to creating an active culture that connects people, objects and spaces. We hope that the museum inspires the residents of the city and international visitors alike, and that it also inspires us in the Canary Islands not to tear down cultural initiatives but to support them and ask for more because they are a perfect complement to tourism and because they bring joy and fill the soul.
Dulce Xerach Perez. Lawyer and doctor in architecture. Researcher at the European University