Hong Kong engages arts and cultural institutions across the globe

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority will sign MOUs with 21 institutions and present an array of events as part of Hong Kong Art Week.
Photo: Daniam Chou, Unsplash. Hong Kong cityscape at night with brightly lit skyscrapers seen across the harbour.

Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has announced that it will sign Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) with 21 arts and cultural institutions during the Hong Kong International Cultural Summit 2024 (24-26 March).

This year’s Hong Kong International Cultural Summit centres on the theme, ‘Connecting Culture, Bridging Times’ and across the three days will feature more than 20 speakers from across the globe. They include Tim Reeve (Chair of East Bank Board, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of Victoria and Albert Museum), Dr Marcella Lista (Head Curator, New Media and Asia Pacific, Centre Pompidou), Dr Wang Chunfa (Director, National Museum of China), Dr Chase F Robinson (Director, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art) and more.

Reeve will speak on a panel themed: Cultural Districts: Contributions to Social and Economic Transformation of Cities, . The session brief explains: ‘On the economic side, cultural districts stimulate innovation and investment, encourage collaboration between public and private sectors, and attract visitors from around the world with the holistic experience they offer. As a social infrastructure, cultural districts serve as gathering places for people of different backgrounds and cultures to exchange ideas and learn from each other. The vibrant ambience, iconic architecture and diversified programmes of cultural districts together create a lively environment that enhances people’s quality of life and transforms the city landscape.’

In Hong Kong, the 40–hectare West Kowloon Cultural District has emerged as one such cultural precinct fostering East–meets–West international cultural exchange and intercultural dialogues through diverse programming.

The MOU signatories include museums, conservation and art research institutes, art centres, film archives, theatres and theatre associations, and hail from across 11 countries: France, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the UK, the US and Mainland China.

The signatories will work with Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM), M+ and the Performing Arts Division of WKCDA across potential activities such as co-production, touring of exhibitions, collection sharing, partnerships on conservation, digitisation and scientific research, alongside education and exchange programs for art administrators and artists.

Institutions signing MOUs with HKPM:

  • Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, UK
  • Shanghai Museum, China
  • Guimet-National Museum of Asian Arts, France
  • National Museum of the Palaces of Versailles and Trianon, France
  • Tokyo National Museum, Japan
  • Museo Nacional Del Prado, Spain, and
  • Qatar Museums, Qatar (on behalf of the Museum of Islamic Art).

Institutions signing MOUs with M+:

Museums

  • Tate, UK
  • Centre Pompidou, France
  • Musée national Picasso-Paris, France
  • The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
  • Leeum Museum of Art, Samsung Foundation of Culture, South Korea
  • Qatar Museums, Qatar, and
  • Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates.

Conservation institute

  • Getty Conservation Institute, US

Film archives

  • Asian Film Archive, Singapore, and
  • Film Archive (Public Organisation), Thailand.

Institutions signing MOUs with Performing Arts Division of WKCDA:

  • China Theatre Association, China
  • Chongqing Chuanju Theatre, China
  • Shijiazhuang Arts Research Bureau, China, and
  • The Shanghai Center of Chinese Operas, China.

Henry Tang Ying-yen, Chairman of the Board of WKCDA, said in the media release shared with ArtsHub, ‘The signing of MOUs with world-renowned arts and cultural institutions during the Summit marks another important milestone for WKCD as it embarks on a global journey of dynamic new partnerships and development opportunities. We anticipate that the collaborations will take global arts and cultural discourse to the next level, sparking a new era of creativity and cultural connectivity for Hong Kong and reinforcing the Authority’s vision of strengthening Hong Kong’s strategic role as the East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange.’

The MOU Signing Ceremony will take place on 24 March, before the official opening of the Summit on 25 March.

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The Summit marks the beginning of Hong Kong Art Week 2024, which will be held from 28-30 March.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. She took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs and was the project manager of ArtsHub’s diverse writers initiative, Amplify Collective. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne and was most recently engaged in consultation for the Emerging Writers’ Festival and ArtsGen. Instagram @lleizy_