Tsang Kin-wah to represent Hong Kong at the Venice Biennale

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council and M+ — the Hong Kong Museum of Art — has chosen multimedia artist Tsang Kin-wah to represent the country in the 2015 Venice Biennale. Tsang Kin-wah specialises in immersive installations; creating videos, book and computer-generated wallpaper. “His work wonderfully represents the quickly maturing contemporary art scene of Hong Kong,” said Lars Nittve, the executive director of M+, in a statement. Other announcements for the Biennale include: Herman De Vries to represent the Netherlands, Dahn Vo for Denmark, Helen Sear for Wales and Chiharu Shiota for Japan....

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Interview with Lars Nittve: M+ Hong Kong, an international museum rooted in local culture

Lars Nittve is a Swedish museum Director and Curator who has played an influential role in the development of several international museums. Chief Curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, he was also a founding Director of Rooseum — Centre for Contemporary Art in Sweden, as well as Director of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. After a period spent as the first Director at Tate Modern in London, he was appointed as Director of Moderna Museet in 2001. Whilst serving at Moderna Museet, he significantly developed the museum’s collection, notably increasing the number of works by female artists and raising almost $70 million in donations for the museum. Alongside, he served on the jury of several highly-acclaimed prizes, as well as writing for a number of art publications.  Lars Nittve  was appointed to the role of Executive Director for M+ in 2011, a museum celebrating visual arts in Hong Kong, currently under construction. Art Media Agency met up with the highly experienced director to gain insight into the philosophy behind M+. Your experience is primarily based in Europe; what aspects of this can easily be transposed to Hong Kong and what are the challenges specific to the Asian environment? A key challenge is that specific procedures related to the management of a collection of artworks — concerning storage, temperature at which the works should be kept, and their manipulation — is barely developed in Asia for the moment. The reason is simple: the very concept of the museum is western, and is still relatively new in Asia. These procedures can and should definitely be implemented here. My experience in Europe has given me the opportunity to reflect upon the concrete strategies which are successful in terms of attracting visitors. The attraction of an audience is undeniably the pivotal element for any museum — its...

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M+ Museum exceeds expectations

M+ is the new museum in Hong Kong celebrating 20th– and 21st-century visual culture. Designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron, it focuses on art, design, architecture and the moving image in Hong Kong, China and other locations from across the world. Its completion is scheduled for 2017.  The “West Kowloon District” project – within which M+ is included – forms part of a long-term investment strategy initiated by the Hong Kong government (HKSAR), aiming to promote the development of visual arts and the creative industry, with a view to both expanding a local appreciation of culture, as well as strengthening Hong Kong’s position as an international centre for art and culture. An initial budget of HK$21.6 billion, extended to HK$24 billion (over $3 billion), was allocated by the government for the large-scale project. The final total cost is in fact estimated to reach HK$35-40 billion ($4.5 million – 5.15 million), taking into account the cost of building new necessary infrastructure — mostly for transportation purposes. Aside from M+, the “West Kowloon Cultural District” will include three other main sites: the Xiqu Centre, dedicated to traditional Chinese theatre; the Arts Pavilion, a smaller exhibition and events space; and the Lyric Theatre, dedicated to dance. The 10,000m2 public space is linked by various forms of transportation and includes public gardens, as well as the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. M+ will be the central element of this cultural space, offering a 15,000 m2 exhibition space — double the size of Tate Modern. The budget for the acquisition of works is HK$1.3-1.4 billion ($167-180 million). $3 million has been spent to date, with over 3,000 works already acquired. Restaurants and shops will also be housed within the space, in order to help cover the museum’s ongoing costs. In the run-up to the museum’s opening, a series of Mobile M+ temporary exhibitions have been put in place. Alongside these, the exhibitions “Inflation”, and “Building M+ : the Museum and...

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