No art museum in Hong Kong for two years
The Hong Kong Museum of Art due to close for renovations from 2015
By Katie Hunt. From Art Basel Hong Kong daily edition
Published online: 25 May 2013
The Hong Kong Museum of Art is due to close for two years from 2015 for renovation work, leaving Asia’s aspiring arts hub without a dedicated art museum. Project plans include a new gallery to focus on art made in Hong Kong as well as moving the museum’s shop and cafe to take advantage of the harbourfront location, giving the tired institution, which is squeezed between a Space Museum and a Cultural Centre, a more distinct identity.
A budget has not been assigned for the project but Cynthia Liu, the deputy director of Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department, says that the museum is expected to secure additional funding of HK$50m this year to acquire and commission works by Hong Kong-based artists.
The moves could clash with plans underway at M+, Hong Kong's museum of visual culture planned for the West Kowloon Cultural District. The museum, which is controlled by a separate government authority, has already built up a substantial collection of Hong Kong and Chinese contemporary art ahead of its expected opening in 2017.
Meanwhile, London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA) has launched a pilot programme to train Hong Kong arts professionals, with the first participant due to arrive in the UK in June. Charles Saumarez Smith, the RA’s chief executive, says the month-long programme would focus on the “inside workings” of an arts institution and would become an annual fixture if the first placement is successful. With several new arts institutions due to open as part of the West Kowloon Cultural District, “the need to train arts professionals is ever more pressing,” says Cynthia Liu, the deputy director of Hong Kong’s Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
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