herzog & de meuron's M+ musem in hong kong finally opens to the public

Nov 12, 2021

following the completion of the building earlier this year, herzog & de meuron’s M+ museum in hong kong opens today friday 12 november 2021 to the public. dubbed as asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, the opening consists of three weekends of celebratory programs for visitors to enjoy.

the opening showcases M+’s outstanding collections of visual art, design and architecture, and moving image from hong kong, china, asia and beyond. approximately 1,500 works across 33 galleries occupy the spaces in the museum. for the first twelve months after the opening date, all visitors will enjoy free admission.

located in hong kong’s west kowloon cultural district on the victoria harbour waterfront, 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. beneath the building site lies the MTR airport express and tung chung line. while the site’s pre-existing condition presented a challenge, it also became a point of departure for the design. the excavation around the railway tunnels produced a ‘found space’ that provides an anchor for the building for hosting rotating installations.

‘the building of M+, from its collections to the museum itself, is the culmination of nearly ten years of investment and expertise to create a museum of our time, that tells multidimensional narratives, comprising geographies and chronologies, from a global viewpoint that originates from and is framed by the unique context of hong kong,’ said doryun chong, deputy director, curatorial and chief curator, M+. ‘there simply is no other museum in the world like M+.’

to inaugurate the new galleries, six exhibitions invite visitors to explore the multidisciplinary and interregional themes and narratives of the collections which M+ has been building since 2021. hong kong: here and beyond capture’s the city’s transformation and unique visual culture from the 1960s to today; M+ sigg collection: from revolution to globalization features a chronological survey of the development of contemporary chinese art from the 1970s through the 2000s; things, spaces, interactions is dedicate to international design and architecture over the last 70 years; individuals, networks, expressions showcases a narrative of post-war international visual art told from an asian perspective; antony gormley: asian field, a massive installation of tens of thousands clay figurines by the british sculpture in collaboration with 300 villagers from a guangdong village; and the dream of the museum, a global constellation of conceptual art practices at the heart of M+’s asian context.

additional commissions include a work by calligraphy artist tong yang-tze in the main hall; the work of artist chen zhen and danh vo at M+’s subterranean large-scale display space; and haegue yang’s long braids of metal bells hanging from ceilings of different heights. a video animation by vincent broquarie projected  on the façade highlights the museum’s collection.

image © virgile simon bertrand, courtesy of herzog & de meuron

‘our vision for M+ is to build a community of learning that encourages empathy, respect, multiple perspectives, and creativity through visual culture for all our audiences to benefit from,’ said suhanya raffel, museum director, M+. ‘by offering an open and welcoming platform with creative learning experiences, M+ is dedicated to creating an active culture that connects people, objects and spaces. it is our hope that the museum inspires the city’s residents and international visitors alike.’

project info:

name: M+ museum location: hong kong architecture team: herzog & de meuron, TFP farrells, and arup status: open, november 12, 2021