Cover William and Lavina Lim, Courtesy of M+ and William and Lavina Lim (Photo: Winnie Yeung, Visual Voices)

The major donation includes pieces by important Hong Kong artists made over the past two decades

M+ museum has received a major donation of artworks from the collection of renowned Hong Kong architect, art collector and artist William Lim and his wife, Lavina Lim. The donation comprises 90 works by 53 artists from Hong Kong and overseas. It also includes Pawn Shop, an artistic project that features the work of 46 international artists. The Lims' collection, titled the Living Collection, is regarded as one of the most significant private collections of Hong Kong art from the past two decades.

William and Lavina started their collection in the early 2000s. Since then, Hong Kong's art scene has boomed: the city is now a global art hub and local artists are receiving increasing international recognition. 

That change is reflected in the Lims' extensive collection, which they previously had installed in an industrial building in Wong Chuk Hang, where they regularly welcomed fellow art collectors, artists, academics and students to see the pieces. The Lims are excited that, at M+, the art will be seen by even more people. 

"I consider the donation a time capsule where artworks by Hong Kong artists can be preserved and assume an important role in the future history of the city. With the donation from the Living Collection, which has been installed in our studio in Wong Chuk Hang for years, to M+, more people will be able to discover the art created by some very exceptional artists, and learn more about Hong Kong contemporary art," said William about his donation.

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"The Living Collection reflects the collector’s resolve to record the unique evolutionary trajectory of Hong Kong art in the twenty-first century. As Hong Kong’s local art scene started to take shape in the 2000s, private collectors have been an important pillar in the local artist community, especially in a young and emerging scene with an unestablished structure. William Lim excelled in this role by expanding his commitment from pure collecting to being actively engaged with art institutions, as well as advocating for Hong Kong artists on the international stage," said Doryun Chong, deputy director, curatorial and chief curator at M+, following the Lims' donation to the museum.

Artworks by 26 local artists are part of the donation, with more than 20 of these artists now being represented in the M+ Collections for the first time.

Some of the notable local works included in the donation are Yeung Tong Lung's diptych painting, Wong Chuk Hang – Industrial Building and a Portrait; Au Hoi Lam's installation Sixty Questions for My Father (or for Myself); Lam Tung Pang's large-scale painting The Huge Mountain; Tang Kwok-hin's The Lonely Island; Nicole Wong's early works from 2013, Acrylic on Canvas (Pink Checks) and Acrylic on Canvas (Yellow Checks); Morgan Wong's piece I Got Time; and 54:10: Artist's Table, a work by William Lim himself.

Significant pieces by artists from elsewhere Asia are also included in the donation, such as Lee Bul's sci-fi Sculpture W6-2 and Haegue Yang's Underwater Ventilation.

On the importance of the donation to M+, Suhanya Raffel, the museum's director said: "From the inception of M+’s collecting efforts, Hong Kong visual culture has been a core area of acquisition and currently constitutes an important part of the M+ Collections. The addition of these works supports M+’s ambition to enrich Hong Kong’s cultural landscape and reinforces M+’s position as the first global museum of contemporary visual culture in Asia."

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