Aric Chen Appointed Curator Hong Kong’s Visual Culture Museum

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority announced today that Aric Chen, leading design critic and curator, has been appointed Curator of Design and Architecture for M+, joining the expanding team at Hong Kong’s future museum for visual culture opening in 2017. He will take up his post on 1 November.

Chen presently serves as Creative Director of Beijing Design Week, and has helped oversee its 2011 and upcoming 2012 editions. He has organised exhibitions and mounted projects at Design Miami; the Center for Architecture in New York; Get It Louder, a biennial exhibition of young creative talent in Beijing and Shanghai; ExperimentaDesign in Amsterdam; the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale in France, and the Design Museum Holon in Israel. In 2008 and 2009, Chen was founding Co-Creative Director of 100% Design Shanghai, China’s first international contemporary design fair. His writing has been widely published in The New York Times, Wallpaper*, GQ, Architectural Record, PIN-UP, Metropolis, and Surface.

Dr Lars Nittve, Executive Director of M+, said: “Aric has both a very specialist knowledge of design and architecture in Asia, and an experienced understanding of its international context. He will be an invaluable addition to the team at M+, working with us to realise the museum’s ambitions to promote, explore and document design from Asia, one of the fastest–growing creative regions in the world”.

M+, opening in 2017 as part of The West Kowloon Cultural District, will be the museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, presenting 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and the moving image, from a Hong Kong perspective, expanding to other regions of China, Asia and the rest of the world.

M+ aspires to build a groundbreaking collection of Hong Kong, Chinese and Asian visual culture, positioned simultaneously within localised and global frameworks. In June 2012 the museum received a donation to its permanent collection of 1,463 artworks of Chinese contemporary art from Dr Uli Sigg of Switzerland, the world’s leading collector in that field. The permanent collection will include design and will represent the first major design collection in Asia, covering graphic, communication, product, industrial, furniture, fashion/textile and digital design, and their evolving practices, as well as architecture. 

Alongside its presentation of art and the moving image, M+ will tell many of the untold and little-told narratives of design and architecture in 20th century and contemporary Asia, reflecting the many social, cultural, technological and economic shifts that have taken place in the region. The museum also aims to provide a platform for design and architectural experimentation while contributing to a broader discussion of those subjects in the context of an increasingly multi-polar world. M+’s approach will be a multidisciplinary exploration of visual culture, rooted in a tradition of cultural production in Asia that has historically drawn little distinction between creative disciplines.

The scale of the museum building, at around 60,000 square metres, will be on par with the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Facilities will include over 17,000 square metres of exhibition space, 15,000 square metres for conservation and storage, an education centre, an archive library and bookstore, a screening facility, artist-in-residence studios and outdoor spaces. An invitation to architectural practices to submit Expressions of Interest for the design competition of M+ will be launched later this year.


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