Shifting Objectives: Design from the M+ Collection
M+ Pavilion, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong
30 November 2016 – 5 February 2017
M+ is the name of the new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong whose emphasis is on art, design, architecture, and moving images of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since 2012, its exhibitions have been documenting the past, informing the present and shaping the future. The museum building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is already at the planning stage and is expected to be finished by 2019. Until then, the exhibitions can be seen in the M+ pavillion.
The subject of the forthcoming exhibition deals with concepts that have shaped and expanded our understanding of design. Important furniture from the 20th century to the present day shows visitors how design philosophies and practices have changed. The exhibition, with its 120 exhibits, endeavours to give a rounded view of the development, creation, and use of the design objects starting from Hong Kong and continuing via China and the rest of Asia to a worldwide understanding of design.
The rooms have been designed by the Hong Kong Studio Collective, which has divided the exhibition into two main parts. There is the historical section that examines the development of design in Asia in a global context. Starting with the post-war period in Japan, it then moves onto post-Independence in India, and China under Mao and Hong Kong’s exporting heyday of the 1960s to 1980s. The exhibition continues with the post-modern designs of the 1970s and 1980s.
The second room is called “Constellations” and it takes a more open look at the various approaches to design. It considers contemporary design and invites visitors to form their own interpretations. Approximately 40 works are in this section, all of which combine an exciting, new approach whether it be through the new discovery of traditional handicraft, using digital design or an innovative production process. Important works come from the Japanese studio Nendo, the designer and artist Stanley Wong from Hong Kong, and the Swedish group Front is also represented.
The exhibition offers much to discover from a wide spectrum of well-known designers like Sori Yanagi and Charlotte Perriand, to the propaganda posters from the Mao era, to the first commercially successful electric rice cookers produced by Toshiba from 1955. The education programme accompanying the exhibition offers workshops, presentations, possible studio visits and tours.