At the heart of Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture are the M+ Collections – the result of a carefully considered programme of collection-building that began with the inception of M+ in 2011. The first of their kind in Asia, the collections comprise four different holdings: the M+ Collection, made up of 6,000-plus works and objects from the worlds of visual art, moving image, and design and architecture, the museum’s core areas of interest; the M+ Sigg Collection, consisting of 1,510 works of contemporary Chinese art; the M+ Collection Archives, composed of over 45,000 items; and the M+ Library Special Collection, with 400-plus items. Together, the holdings serve to embody the bold and ambitious mission with which M+ was founded: to become a multidisciplinary museum of contemporary visual culture, rooted in Hong Kong and Asia but with an international outlook.
M+ Collections: Highlights presents the work of more than 300 artists, designers, film-makers, photographers and architects specially selected to represent the collections as a whole, from Zhang Peili and Charlotte Perriand to Nam June Paik, Zaha Hadid, and Shigeru Ban. Organized into seven chapters, each encompassing a different decade of the collections’ span – from the 1950s to the 2010s – the book consists of individual entries on the featured makers composed of one or more of their works and an insightful analysis by an M+ curator. Interspersed among these entries are 24 thematic essays intended to illuminate some of the movements, tendencies and ideas around which the collections have grown, including modernism in Asian art and the future of painting in a digital world. Full of unexpected connections and new perspectives, M+ Collections: Highlights represents not only an invaluable introduction to M+’s unrivalled storehouse of visual culture but also an indispensable work of reference.