Jacques Herzog Says Hong Kong Could Do More for the Arts

Rendering of the M+ museum. Courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

A time capsule was buried in Hong Kong on January 29 to officially mark the beginning of the construction of M+, a much anticipated museum of 20th and 21st century art, architecture, design and visual culture in Kowloon. 

Artworks by primary school students, a personal message from the Chief Secretary, and newspapers were among the items placed inside the capsule to be opened in 100 years.

Jacques Herzog from  Herzog & de Meuron, which designed the M+ building, was at the ceremony yesterday. He told local media that he felt Hong Kong could do more for the arts.

“There is a lack of recognition of art being an important player in building contemporary society,” said Herzog.

His remarks may well have been inspired by controversy over the museum’s budget. Although the foundation work for M+ began last August, construction of the facility was stalled as the Legislative Council, the city’s law-making body, launched into lengthy debates around the project and is yet to approve the budget for the museum’s basement design. The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, which oversees the museum, has taken HK$300 million out of its own pocket to push ahead with the next stage of construction.

Michael Lynch, the authority’s CEO, lamented that Legco’s decisions were beyond his control, but said he hoped that the museum will be completed in three years and open to the public by 2019, about six months later than the original date.

Highlight of the time capsule: paintings by kids. Image courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Highlight of the time capsule: paintings by kids.
Image courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.


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