V&A shows are Shenzhen-bound

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will send the best of British design


Shenzhen. London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will help to develop a new design museum in Shekou, in the city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, The Art Newspaper has learned. The decorative arts museum is due to sign an agreement very shortly with the Hong Kong-based property developer China Merchants Group.

Shenzhen is a centre of industrial design and the new institution will be the first major design museum in China’s Pearl River Delta. It will promote Chinese design and present the best of international design to a Chinese audience. Martin Roth, the director of the V&A, says: “Shenzhen is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world and its creative industries are driving this development. It is incredibly exciting for the V&A to foster a partnership with China Merchants Group to develop a design museum.”

China Merchants Group is building the Sea World entertainment complex, which will include a cultural quarter, on the Shekou waterfront. The Shekou museum will have a V&A gallery of contemporary design featuring objects on loan, which will be changed every three years or so. There will be a gallery for temporary exhibitions, with the V&A providing the initial shows until Shekou develops its own programme. The museum will also build its own collection. The architect is Tokyo-based Fumihiko Maki, and construction work is due to start in July, for completion by 2017.

Tim Reeve, the V&A’s chief operating officer, accompanied David Cameron on the UK prime minister’s visit to Beijing last November. During the visit, the V&A and the developers signed an initial memorandum of understanding.