As M+ opens its doors in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong, we’re excited to announce our publishing partnership with this extraordinary institution, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture.
To celebrate the opening of M+, we’re releasing two book titles, The Making of M+ and Chinese Art Since 1970: The M+ Sigg Collection.
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the M+ building is a striking landmark on the waterfront of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. But even before the new building opened, M+ had been busy engaging with local and international audiences through a broad range of programmes and exhibitions while implementing a strategic approach to collecting. The opening of M+’s new home is undoubtedly a milestone in the institution’s ongoing story as well as in the international landscape of museums, yet it also marks an important moment to reflect on its development to date.
Offering a wide range of perspectives and voices, The Making of M+ is an immersive visual encounter with the many stages of the twenty-first-century museum’s evolution. H. G. Masters, the book’s guest editor, and Sulki & Min, its award-winning designers, present images and texts relating to M+’s first three decades – starting with the reclamation of the land on which the M+ building stands. While the hundreds of images in the book document programmes, collections, staff, audiences, and architecture that have helped shape the museum, the texts have been carefully selected from key moments in the institution’s formation, encompassing official pronouncements, staff mantras, public releases, and snippets from the local and international press.
The Sigg Collection is recognised as the most important and comprehensive collection of contemporary Chinese art today. It was acquired by M+ in 2012 from the Swiss businessman, diplomat, and art collector Uli Sigg, mostly by donation. The collection consists of 1,510 works of contemporary Chinese art, dating from the 1970s to 2012 and ranging across all media. It offers a unique window on the remarkable flowering of experimental artistic practices in China during this time – a period of unprecedented social and economic change in the country that saw artists devise new and innovative approaches to artmaking, formulating new connections between art and society, and developing ground-breaking conceptual methodologies.
Chinese Art Since 1970: The M+ Sigg Collection features more than 600 works by more than 300 artists, among them Cao Fei, Lin Tianmiao, Song Dong, Wang Giangyi, Yin Xiuzhen and Zhang Xiaogang. After introductory essays by Pi Li and Uli Sigg, an illustrated chronology spanning the years from 1972 to 2020 highlights important social events, exhibitions, and artistic movements to establish a context for the texts by M+ curators examining the featured artists and their work. Punctuating this discussion are contributions from renowned art historians, curators, and critics from across the globe on specific works and practices, together with in-depth explanations of key concepts and events, from Cynical Realism to the seminal exhibition China/ Avant-Garde.
Through the medium of the world’s pre-eminent collection of contemporary Chinese art, this book offers an unparalleled introduction to one of the most culturally dynamic periods in modern Chinese history.