February 18, 2021 - M+, West Kowloon Cultural District - How Can Museums Matter Today?
February 18, 2021

M+, West Kowloon Cultural District

Courtesy of the National Gallery Singapore and M+.

How Can Museums Matter Today?
Online on Zoom
February 23–24, 2021

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M+ announces the two-day online programme “How Can Museums Matter Today,” a collaboration with National Gallery Singapore, which will examine the role of museums in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath from the perspective of two newly formed institutions in Asia. The programme, held on February 23–24, 2021, consists of two public talks on Zoom which will both be followed by a Q&A session. Considering the myriad changes facing museums today, conversations between M+ and the Gallery curators will depart from two institutional standpoints—collection building and audience engagement. These talks will touch upon the different ways museums can uphold inclusivity and diversity in their spaces, find opportunity in adversity, adapt to the rise of digitalisation, and encourage audience participation in these contexts.

Enduring a global pandemic over the last year has severely limited our access to museums and cultural institutions, sparking new questions about what these spaces can offer and how they can add meaning to our lives. In this age of uncertainty and turmoil, museums have an increasingly important role to play in providing perspective and context to our current issues and offering new platforms for dialogue and exchange. For the present moment and for the future, the question of how museums matter confronts us worldwide. Framed regionally, the question becomes even more urgent, especially in cities like Hong Kong and Singapore, where recently established institutions seek to define themselves. Now that museums with much longer collecting histories are facing calls to decolonise and recognise their roles in exploitation and structural inequalities, which models should we learn from and which should we avoid? How do these issues map onto East and Southeast Asia where the proliferation of museums is relatively recent?

In the lead-up to the museum’s grand opening in late 2021, M+ is launching, through partnerships with other institutions around the world, the M+ International initiative, which aims to create a platform to discuss current issues facing museums. Previous M+ International initiatives have taken place in partnership with the Sydney Opera House, Mori Art Museum, and Power Station of Art.

Public Discussions:

Collections and Their Relevance: Why Do Collections Matter?
February 23, 2021
7–8pm, Hong Kong time (UTC+8)

Horikawa Lisa, Deputy Director, Collections Development & Senior Curator, National Gallery Singapore
Russell Storer, Director, Curatorial and Collections, National Gallery Singapore
Pauline. J. Yao, Lead Curator, Visual Art, M+

Audiences and Engagement: What Can a Museum Be?
February 24, 2021
7–8pm, Hong Kong time (UTC+8)

Stella Fong, Lead Curator, Learning and Interpretation, M+
Keri Ryan, Curator, Learning and Interpretation, M+
Suenne Megan Tan, Director, Audience Development & Engagement, National Gallery Singapore

For more details on the event, please click here.

About M+
M+ is a museum dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. In Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, we are building one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world, with a bold ambition to establish ourselves as one of the world’s leading cultural institutions. Our aim is to create a new kind of museum that reflects our unique time and place, a museum that builds on Hong Kong’s historic balance of the local and international to define a distinctive and innovative voice for Asia’s 21st century.

About National Gallery Singapore
National Gallery Singapore is a leading visual arts institution which oversees the world’s largest public collection of Singapore and Southeast Asian modern art. Reflecting Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location, the Gallery aims to be a progressive museum that creates dialogues between the art of Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world to foster and inspire a thoughtful, creative and inclusive society. Through our collaborative research, education initiatives, long-term and special exhibitions, innovative programming, as well as partnerships with international museums to jointly present Southeast Asian art in the global context, the Gallery seeks to position Singapore as a key node in the global visual arts scene.

M+, West Kowloon Cultural District
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