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Two mannequin heads stand on a wooden floor. The right one is with a clean face while the left one is filled with doodles. Plants are growing out of both mannequin heads, resembling hair. There is a group of secondary school students sitting in the background.

How M+ Is a Lab for Learning

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At M+, learning is core to our mission. The following article is adapted from a public talk entitled ‘Experiments in Museum Learning’ delivered by Stella Fong, Lead Curator of Learning and Interpretation.

‘A museum is a laboratory.’ It’s made for experimentation. This was the point of view brought forward in the 1920s by Alexander Dorner, the Director of the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover, in Germany. He argued that being experimental was a key feature of museums. Now, in the twenty-first century, museums are transforming at an unstoppable pace. How should museums position themselves in our rapidly changing world? And, as a new museum of visual culture, how is M+ approaching learning and education?

'Education' vs 'Learning'

The main functions of museums are collection, conservation, research, exhibition, and education. According to the code drawn up by the International Council of Museums, ‘Museums have an important duty to develop their educational role and attract wider audiences from the community, locality, or group they serve. Interaction with the constituent community and promotion of their heritage is an integral part of the educational role of the museum.’1 In view of this, the educational mission of museums is crucial,and the interaction with audiences is especially important.

A woman kneels in front of a large net hanging from the ceiling filled with dry leaves. She is focused on adjusting one of the leaves sticking out of the net. In the background, two men adjust leaves in a second net hanging from the ceiling.

Why Did M+ Team Members Spend Weeks Collecting Old Leaves?

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In the current exhibition at the M+ Pavilion, In Search of Southeast Asia through the M+ Collections, you’ll find a video installation work next to two large, suspended nets filled with leaves. This is All Lines Flow Out by Charles Lim, a work that explores Singapore’s drainage system and how it reflects the city’s relationship to the sea. The work’s installation instructions state that the leaves should be freshly gathered for each display. So, how do you find these leaves? Below, four members of M+’s exhibitions team share how they did it.

Participants: Kieran Champion, Senior Manager, Installations and Displays; Natalie Harding, Associate Conservator, Objects; Nelson Tsui, Assistant Art Technician; and Howard Wong, Exhibitions Production Technician.

Page of a book with a red and black illustration of three people in front of a poster with Chinese characters that read ‘Firmly grasp the large-scale revolutionary criticism'. One of the people is writing the words 'Feudalism', 'Capitalism' and 'Revisionism' in a book, while another person points at what he’s writing.

A Look at the Remarkable Propaganda Manuals of Mao-Era China

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With the launch of M+ Matters: Post-1949 Visual and Material Culture in China this week, here’s a look into a fascinating example of visual culture in Mao-era China: visual propaganda manuals.

Throughout the Mao period, a large volume of mass-produced image reference manuals were issued by state-owned publishing houses. They were filled with pages of images, fonts, motifs, decorative borders, and other graphic elements. The aim was to instruct amateurs and professional artistic-workers on how to create images—and, in most cases, how to create visual propaganda.

Digital print depicting an extremely tall high rise building complex next to a blue body of water. The building complex is completely covered in rich, bright green vegetation. Multiple tiers in the building complex are covered in fields and forests, and multiple wind turbines can also be seen.

Exploring Hong Kong’s Links to Southeast Asia

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In Search of Southeast Asia through the M+ Collections is the newest exhibition at the M+ Pavilion, running from 22 June to 30 September. This is part two of the curatorial conversation between the two exhibition curators, who in this post discuss the potential links between Hong Kong and Southeast Asia that can be explored through the show.

Curators: Pauline J. Yao (Lead Curator, Visual Art) and Shirley Surya (Associate Curator, Design & Architecture)

Pauline: We are highlighting Southeast Asia as a region that can be simultaneously perceived as near and far from Hong Kong. The histories of Southeast Asia are not well known here, but there are definite links to Hong Kong. These can’t always be easily seen on the surface, so it’s interesting when things are accidentally revealed through works in the show.