Welcome to M+

John Hill
12. November 2021
M+, Hong Kong (Photo: Kevin Mak, courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron)

M+ opened to the public on Friday, November 12, in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, in a building designed by Herzog & de Meuron. Billed as Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, M+ opened with approximately 1,500 works on display. A fifteen-minute film from M+ gives a tour of the much anticipated building and the art on display.

The Main Hall, M+, Hong Kong (Photo: Kevin Mak, courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron)

As presented by Suhanya Raffel, M+ Museum Director, and Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Curatorial and Chief Curator, the film takes people inside a building that was previously known for its slab-like exterior: an upside-down "T" with educational spaces and offices stacked on narrow tower floor plates above the base, a "radically horizontal space" base that houses the main hall and most of the museum's 33 galleries and is topped by a public roof garden.

Installation view of Individuals, Networks,Expressions in South Galleries (Photo: Kevin Mak, courtesy of M+, Hong Kong)

Highlights of the virtual tour include views of the main hall, "a quintessential Herzog & de Meuron space," to Suhanya Raffel, where cuts in the floor reveal a "found" space with concrete surfaces encasing the tunnels of the subways below the building; and, as part of Hong Kong: Here and Beyond, one of a half-dozen exhibitions inaugurating the museum, a full-size replica of architect Gary Chang's famous Domestic Transformer, the architect's own 34-square-meter apartment that features movable walls. Later, Doryun Chong takes viewers inside some of the second-floor galleries, including Antony Gormley's Asian Field, where a large space is filled with more than 200,000 clay figurines — "a sea of figurines" — made in a village in Guangdong Province.

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