Cover Hallam Chow makes a significant art donation to M+ (Photo: Courtesy of M+ and Hallam Chow)

The donation includes works by important Asian contemporary artists, including Aida Makoto, Lee Bul and Liu Wei

Following William and Lavina Lim’s donation of nearly 100 artworks to M+, the museum has received another significant donation—this time from Hallam Chow, a prominent Hong Kong collector and long-time supporter of the museum. The donation comprises 17 works created between the 1990s and the 2010s by 13 important artists and collectives from Asia, further strengthening M+’s contemporary Asian art collection.

The donation includes works by seven leading Japanese artists— namely Aida Makoto, Konoike Tomoko, Odani Motohiko, Shioyasu Tomoko, Takamine Tadasu, Teruya Yuken and Yanobe Kenji—and one artist collective, Chim↑Pom. There are also five artworks by internationally renowned artists from outside of Japan: Montien Boonma from Thailand, Lee Bul from South Korea, Liang Yuanwei and Liu Wei from China and Adrian Wong from the United States.

“My hope for M+ is for it to become an international art institution that respects, nurtures and cultivates collaboration and exchange between and among the Asian countries including regions that may have been overlooked and under-represented in the global art scene, including South East Asia and Japan beyond Gutai artists, Murakami, Nara and Kusama,” says Chow.

The donated pieces will be a valuable building block as M+ develops its comprehensive framework of contemporary Japanese art practices, while the other works further diversify M+’s extensive collection.

See also: Art Collectors William And Lavina Lim On Donating Nearly 100 Artworks To M+

A particularly significant piece, Chow says, is Chim↑Pom’s interactive work which “depicts the irrational side of lust and sex”—viewers call a phone number listed in a mock call-girl advert, which creates electricity. “Chim↑Pom created this work, Erokitel, to explore a potential alternate source of energy – human libido,” Chow explains. The work is also a response to the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan, and a commentary on the country’s reliance on nuclear power.

A philosophy graduate of the University of Oxford and Georgetown University, Chow is also very moved by Mokoto’s Critique of Critique of Judgement, calling it a “masterpiece that poses critical questions on Kant’s rational view of post-modern aestheticism”, referring to Immanuel Kant, one of his favourite philosophers.

Chow—the grandson of Edward T. Chow, the famed dealer of Chinese antiquities—started collecting art at a young age. He has an affinity for works that “touch upon the human emotions and in particular, fear—fear of loss, fear of nature, fear of the unknown, and among all emotions, I find fear to be the most truthful and difficult to hide.”

See also: How Artist Ernest Chang Blends Traditional Chinese Art and Contemporary Culture

Chow has built a sizeable collection of Asian contemporary art and has been focusing on philanthropically supporting Asian art and education-based initiatives, museum exhibitions, and workshops that promote cultural exchange between Asia and other parts of the world, and has donated 25 works to M+ since 2016. He also serves as the chairman of the M+ International Council for Visual Art.

Chow told Tatler that he hopes his contribution will “help M+ anchor and broaden its collection in important and less commercial Japanese contemporary art and critical South East Asian artists” and allow “Hong Kong to value M+ as a global and independent art institution that brings a different cultural perspective”.

See also: Artist Rosamond Brown And Ben Brown Reflect On Hong Kong’s Growing Art Scene

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