Scores queue for first glimpse of M+ museum

More than 13,300 people visited the M+ museum on Friday as it opened its doors to the public for the first time.

When visitors were finally let into the museum – one of the cornerstones of the West Kowloon Cultural District – a few curators and staff members of the art hub burst into tears.

Veronica Castillo, Deputy Director for Collection and Exhibition, told RTHK that it was a very emotional moment for her, as she had been part of the M+ project since 2012.

“It’s been a big effort to bring this to Hong Kong, so I feel proud of it, and I feel very happy that people can come through the doors and enjoy it. I think no one understands what’s happening here until they come in, they’re going to be fascinated about it,” she said.

Some of the visitors queuing up told RTHK that they were looking forward to seeing works by artists such as Ai Weiwei.

One of them, a man surnamed Ho, said he wanted to see works by Ai because he was aware some of them had caused controversy.

“I’ve visited the Louvre and also the New York Museum, and I think this one could be something comparable,” Ho added.

A woman surnamed Cheng told RTHK: “It’s the first international mega arts centre here, so I want to come to here, and I want to see Ai Weiwei’s art.”

She said there should have been better signage for the museum, as it was difficult to find the entrance and she had to ask several staff members how to get in.

Another visitor, Jennifer Eagleton, said she wanted to get ahead of the crowds, and wanted to see work by Hong Kong artist Kacey Wong.

“I really like contemporary, expressionism, installations, and hopefully they’ll have performance art at some date because I’m really quite keen on performance art, but I’ve got an open mind about what I’m going to see,” she said.

The M+ director, Suhanya Raffel, said she is not concerned that some people have expressed disappointment that they didn’t get to see more controversial works – like Ai Weiwei’s middle finger photo collection.

“We have curated exactly what we wanted to show,” she said, adding that the museum has art works by a number of contemporary Chinese artists.

“It is something you will never see anywhere else in the world, actually, all of those exhibitions, whether you go to Hong Kong here and beyond, these are exhibitions and artworks, you have to come here to Hong Kong to see, to understand, to enjoy.”
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Last updated: 2021-11-12 HKT 21:17