‘M+ opening will be a milestone for Hong Kong’

Artist and architect Raymond Fung on Thursday hailed the upcoming opening of the M+ Museum as an important milestone for arts development in Hong Kong, in the midst of a pandemic which has badly crippled the tourist sector.

The museum will finally open on November 12 after years of delay.

Hong Kong residents can visit the contemporary visual culture museum for free in its inaugural year – a decision which Fung, a member of the development committee of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, said was made to help boost visitor numbers during the pandemic.

“We’re talking about free-of-charge [entry] for Hong Kong people and hoping to see progress in terms of visitors and by then, maybe, mainlanders can come to Hong Kong after some months. It will take some time to see how it works,” he said.

“Now we are talking about ourselves as being the Asian art hub, so this is going to be a very important milestone for Hong Kong.”

Earlier this year, the museum was slammed for its plan to display one of the works by artist Ai Weiwei, saying the piece could violate the national security law by “spreading hatred against China”.

When asked how M+ would handle the risk of some art exhibits falling afoul of the national security law, Fung explained that the museum has about 6,000 pieces of art to choose from.

“We know how to carry on or how to position some of these works…It’s not always having the same piece of work for every show and this time, I’ve noted that some of the works may not be there, but it doesn’t matter because there will be a lot of shows coming up,” he said.