Plans are moving forward for Hong Kong’s much-anticipated M+ contemporary museum, a k a the Museum of Visual Culture (it will have art, design, architecture and more), to open in 2017, and Bloomberg’s Frederik Balfour offers a nice profile of its 58-year-old executive director, Lars Nittve, that doubles as a succinct overview of the project.
M+ is part of a vast 40-hectare cultural district in West Kowloon with 15 performing-arts venues that the government is spending HK$21.6 billion ($2.79 billion) on. How major an initiative is it? Here’s the wire service:
To get a sense of the project’s scale, imagine New York’s Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art and a chunk of Central Park rolled into one.
M+ has received about HK$6 billion (about $774 million) from the government, and will have twice as much exhibition space as Tate Modern, where Mr. Nittve served as founding director. About $219 million of that sum has been earmarked for building a collection and covering storage costs. While that’s a substantial sum of money, it only goes so far in today’s art market (Asian or otherwise), meaning that the director will likely have to find plenty of generous collectors willing to donate works or part with them at a discount in order to build its collection. Swiss businessman Uli Sigg has already stepped up to give more than 1,400 contemporary Chinese art pieces and sell almost 50 more.
Also, the director seems to really like using emoticon in his e-mails. More about that in the article.