Key Hong Kong art collection donated to M+
By Ariana Heffner
On December 10, Hong Kong’s museum of contemporary art and visual culture M+ announced that it has received a major donation of 90 artworks from Hong Kong-based artist and architect William Lim and his wife, interior designer Lavina Lim. The couple’s artworks, which they call the Living Collection, is recognized as a key private holding that documents the emergence of Hong Kong’s art scene since the 2000s.
The Lims' bequest includes sculptures and paintings by 53 Hong Kong and international artists, among them 20 Hong Kong artists previously not represented in the M+ collection. M+ director Suhanya Raffel explained that the Lims' collection “both deepens and broadens M+’s holdings in Hong Kong art, and as a result significantly bolsters the museum’s commitment to this area.”
One of the donated artworks is painter Yeung Tong Lung’s commission, Wong Chuk Hang – Industrial Building and a Portrait (2015), which depicts office workers outside a bus terminal near the couple’s Wong Chuk Hang studio, where the Lims have displayed their collection since the studio opened in 2003. Also included are works by William Lim himself, such as mixed-media installation 54:10 Artist’s Table (2011).
Among the international artists featured in the Living Collection are Lee Bul, whose Untitled Sculpture W6-2 (2010) focuses on the legacy of utopian architecture and the relationship between human aspirations and political failures, and Haegue Yang, whose mixed-media sculpture Underwater Ventilation (2011) continues the artist’s exploration of political and historical narratives.
The Lims began to systematically collect artworks in the early 2000s. Trained as an architect at Cornell University, Ithaca, in the 1980s, William moved back to Hong Kong with Lavina to found the architecture firm CL3 in 1992. The firm has worked on numerous well-known projects including Hong Kong’s art gallery and lifestyle focused building, H Queen’s, and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands hotel.
Part of the Hong Kong government’s West Kowloon art hub development, M+ was originally slated to open to the public in 2017. After several delays, the opening date has been pushed to late 2021, with the remaining work to focus on the construction of internal fixtures. In 2012, the institution received a significant donation of 1,510 Chinese modern and contemporary works ranging from paintings to multimedia installations from Swiss businessman and collector Uli Sigg.
Ariana Heffner is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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