Header image courtesy of Virgile Simon Bertrand / Herzog & de Meuron
18 years after it was first proposed and six years after construction began, Hong Kong’s much anticipated M+ finally has an official opening date. Billed as “Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture,” the cultural destination will open its doors to the public on 12 November. What’s more, following overwhelming support for the museum, the free entry for the first 12 months originally offered to Hong Kong residents has now been extended to all visitors!
Approximately 1,500 works of art out of M+’s 6,400-piece collection will be exhibited as part of six thematic exhibitions during the opening period—Hong Kong: Here and Beyond in the Main Hall Gallery; M+ Sigg Collection: From Revolution to Globalisation in the Sigg Galleries; Things, Spaces, Interactions in the East Galleries; Antony Gormley: Asian Field in the West Gallery; Individuals, Networks, Expressions in the South Galleries; The Dream of the Museum in the Courtyard Galleries.
The museum has been envisioned as Hong Kong’s answer to world-class contemporary art museums like London’s Tate Modern and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). The striking Herzog & de Meuron-designed monument takes the shape of an upside-down “T,” with a tower clad in terracotta tiles and a dynamic LED system on the south façade lighting up Hong Kong’s famous skyline.
Of the museum’s 65,000-square-metre space, some 17,000 square metres are dedicated for exhibitions, with 33 galleries as well as a number of public display spaces, such as Found Space, a subterranean display area for major installations. These public areas, which include the M+ Facade, the Grand Stair, the Studio, and the Roof Garden, as well as the Found Space, will be used to present a series of commissions and displays.
Visitors can enjoy sky-high views of the skyline from the Roof Garden, while the Horizon Terrace provides beautiful vistas of the waterfront and an expansive stadium-style terrace from which to view them.
Henry Tang, chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority board, said, “The official opening of M+ marks a major milestone in delivering the vision for the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District as a vital contribution to the future of Hong Kong, building on its reputation as one of the world’s leading arts and cultural hubs. We will make M+ a must-visit destination for local, regional, and international visitors.”
Its retail space, The Other Store—comprising a gift shop, florist, and bookstore—and its onsite café, Curator Creative Café, are both currently open to the public, with more retail outlets and restaurants to follow.