The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is to help develop south China’s first major design museum in Shekou, part of the city of Shenzhen, across the water from Hong Kong. An agreement is expected to be signed very shortly with the Hong Kong-based property developer China Merchants Group. The company says the project aims to “promote Chinese design to an international audience as well as present the best international design in China”.
The Shekou Museum is to be part of a waterfront development that includes an arts quarter. It comprises three elements: a V&A-backed gallery of contemporary design that will show objects on loan from London, with displays changing around every three years; a temporary exhibition gallery, with shows organised by the V&A until Shekou develops its own programme; and a permanent collection the museum builds on its own. The architect is the Tokyo-based Fumihiko Maki. Building work is due to start in July, for completion in 2016-17.
Tim Reeve, the V&A’s chief operating officer, signed an initial memorandum of understanding with Chinese officials during a visit to Beijing last November with the UK prime minister David Cameron. Martin Roth, the V&A’s director, says: “Shenzhen is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and its creative industries are driving this development”.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'V&A lends China a hand'