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M+ showcases HK’s visual culture

Visual art lovers will be able to discover some of the world’s foremost works at M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture, when it opens its doors to the public on November 12.   Located in the West Kowloon Cultural District, M+ offers 33 galleries and other display spaces to showcase the works drawn from the museum’s collections.   One of the exhibitions to be staged is Hong Kong: Here & Beyond. Divided into four chapters - Here, Identities, Places and Beyond, it explores Hong Kong’s unique visual cultural elements and presents the city’s transformation from the post-war decades to the present.   Precious collection M+ Hong Kong Visual Culture Curator Tina Pang said the exhibition features artworks of the late Tsang Tsou-choi who dubbed himself the “King of Kowloon”, including the calligraphy written on a Kowloon map.   His writings, recognised as an important part of local art, do not adhere to any lineage or school. His distinctive calligraphy which used to adorn prominent public spaces can seldom be found around the city nowadays.   Ms Pang said his work is well-known by the community and is part of popular culture.   Exhibition goers will also feast their eyes on some magazines and vinyl album covers of famous pop singers from the 1980s and 1990s which highlight the vigorous development of the city’s visual art.   Through this exhibition, Ms Pang said she hopes to share with the local community cultural elements which are unique to Hong Kong.   “We hope to point out some phenomena that only happened in Hong Kong due to its historical background.   “Most of the exhibits are new to the younger generation. Our challenge is how to communicate with them through the exhibits, letting them know the stories behind them.”   Hitting home Some exhibits reflect an issue which concerns Hong Kong people the most: housing.   Visitors will see a vessel named Paddling Home, built from construction materials commonly used in Hong Kong, in the museum. It was actually launched into Victoria Harbour from the West Kowloon waterfront.   Its creator, Kacey Wong, said he strives to express the concept of a compact living environment and high home prices in the city.   Meanwhile, a stainless steel small home titled Domestic Transformer created by architect Gary Chang consists of movable walls and multifunctional furniture, providing an ingenious solution to tiny flats.   Hong Kong: Here & Beyond is one of the six thematic exhibitions kicking off the museum’s debut. It will be staged at M+ Main Hall Gallery from November 12 this year to November 27, 2022.   To mark the museum’s opening, Hong Kong residents can enjoy an admission fee waiver for the M+ galleries for 12 months.   For more details, please visit the M+ website.
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