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Speech by CS at WKCD M+ Time Capsule Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the West Kowloon Cultural District M+ Time Capsule Ceremony today (January 28):

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the M+ time capsule ceremony this afternoon. What a wonderful day. This ceremony signifies that the M+ project has moved from the design stage to the construction stage. Needless to say, it is a significant milestone in the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) project.

     M+ is Hong Kong's new museum for visual culture, focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture, and moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond. Since the announcement of the winning design by the renowned Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron, together with TFP Farrells and Ove Arup & Partners HK, in June 2013, our M+ team has been working closely with the design team on the building's schematic and detailed design. I am pleased to inform you that foundation works for M+ have already started in August last year and the main construction works will be tendered out soon. Our target is to complete the construction within 2018 with a view to opening the museum building in 2019. The 60,000-square-metre M+ building will be an iconic landmark along the Victoria Harbourfront setting against the massive backdrop of skyscrapers. It will house a full range of museum facilities including display spaces, studios, learning and research areas, museum shops and cafes as well as plenty of public open spaces and greenery for arts lovers and the general public to enjoy.

     Indeed, while the foundation works and design efforts are in full swing, it can be said that the M+ already exists and has already been making a strong presence in the local and international arts scene. Starting with the generous donation of 1,463 pieces of Chinese contemporary art works by Dr Uli Sigg in the summer of 2012, the M+ Collection has grown rapidly to around 4,100 works. Not only is the Collection already available for screening in M+'s website, the WKCD Authority's museum team has already staged M+'s first architectural exhibition in ArtisTree in Hong Kong last year and will be presenting its inaugural moving image project from February to April this year with screenings and exhibition across different sites in Hong Kong.

     At the international stage, M+ has collaborated with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2013 in presenting the works of Mr Lee Kit, a Hong Kong artist in Venice Biennale, the world's most important event for contemporary art, and will be partnering with the Hong Kong Arts Development Council again to present the work of Mr Tsang Kin-wah at this year's Venice Biennale. In addition, M+'s online project to showcase Hong Kong's characteristic neon signs is hugely successful and has received widespread reporting internationally, along with over 170,000 viewings.

     Ladies and gentlemen, the WKCD is a long-term strategic investment made by the HKSAR Government to promote the development of arts and culture. It is also planned as a project for everyone. The WKCD Authority has been active in engaging the local arts sector as well as the wider community. M+, in this regard, has embarked on a series of public programmes in addition to exhibitions such as the M+ Matters series of public talks, as well as docent volunteer programme and regular internship schemes to transfer knowledge to and nurture the younger generation.

     All these achievements so far would not be possible without the hard work of Victor (Lo), Chairman of the Museum Committee, and our dedicated M+ team led by Lars (Executive Director, M+, Dr Lars Nittve) as well as the unstinting support from our friends - the architects, artists, collectors and patrons. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all concerned for their dedication to the M+ project. The enthusiasm and support from the local arts and cultural community to the WKCD project as a whole is also deeply appreciated.

     Finally, may I wish the construction of the M+ building every success. Thank you very much.

Ends/Thursday, January 29, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:04


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