Collector Hallam Chow Donates Five Diverse Works to Hong Kong’s M+ Museum

He wants to inspire a culture of cultural philanthropy in Hong Kong.

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

Hong Kong’s M+ museum has received a donation of five artworks from local collector Hallam Chow.

The forthcoming museum of visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural district has been gifted works by Japanese artist Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Indian artist L.N. Tallur, Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich, and Indonesian artists Jompet Kuswidananto and Eko Nugroho.

According to the museum, Chow’s donation adds an element of diversity to the collection and also provides an important foundation for the institution’s future holdings in South and Southeast Asian art.

Sopheap Pich Head in Arms (2010). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and M+, Hong Kong.

Sopheap Pich Head in Arms (2010). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and M+, Hong Kong.

Exploring post-colonial histories and Asian identity in a post-independence environment, the artists’ investigation of a shared past closely mirrors that of Hong Kong’s, making the donation an appropriate addition to the M+ collection.

“My donation of the selected artworks aims to help M+ build a truly diversified collection,” Chow said in a statement.

“I hope to also inspire other local and regional collectors to share important works by regional artists with M+,” he added. “The contribution of Asian regional artists to the overall development of contemporary art in Asia is important and cannot be overlooked.”

Eko Nugroho Untitled (2010). Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Eko Nugroho Untitled (2010). Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Touted as one of the most ambitious, complex, and challenging cultural projects in the world, the M+ will be the centerpiece of the new West Kowloon Cultural District.

Due to the size and complexity of the museum, the opening has been delayed on numerous occasions. Last year, construction setbacks pushed back the opening date. The situation was complicated by numerous resignations including that of former director Lars Nittve and associate curator Yung Ma.

Describing the museum, Nittve said “Conceptually it is quite groundbreaking, and it’s very complex and challenging,” insisting that once complete it will transform Hong Kong’s cultural landscape.

Now under the leadership of new executive director Sunhanya Raffel, the museum is slated to open its doors in 2019.

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