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A building under construction stands next to the water in a pink sunset. Large cranes surround the construction site.

What’s Going on at the M+ Construction Site? January 2019

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When you visit the M+ Pavilion right now—perhaps to see the current exhibition Noguchi for Danh Vo: Counterpoint—you’ll find yourself next to the construction site for the M+ building. You’ll see a building that is well on its way to completion, with a finished tower structure and podium, but what exactly is going on? We’re here to explain.

1. The structure of the vertical tower is complete

Nine rows of sixteen emojis depicting different images and with different monochromatic colours. Each emoji fits into just twelve by twelve pixels.

Which Old-School Emoji Are You?

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Did you know that emojis are twenty years old? And that the original design sketches of the first ever emojis are in the M+ Collections? Fitting within a tiny 12x12 pixel frame, they were developed in 1999 by Japanese telecommunication company NTT DOCOMO INC alongside its launch of i-mode, the world’s first mobile telephone internet service.

The graphic designs of the first 176 emojis were created by Kurita Shigetaka and architect Aoki Jun, with a second batch of seventy-six released in 2002. Kurita came up with the visual system of emojis to help convey information on the small phone screens.

So, this leads to one important question: which of these original emojis best fits your personality? Take the quiz below to find out.

All emoji images ©NTT DOCOMO, INC.

Computer animated still depicting a square grassy island in the middle of an ocean at sunset. A row of increasingly tall, alternating trees and unicorn horns sticking out of the ground divides the island into two. Several shapes covered in white fabric covered in logos lie on the island.

Miao Ying and the ‘Chinternet’ Can Help You Detox from the World Wide Web

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Need an online break from the dominance of multi-billion dollar ‘unicorn’ businesses like Google and Facebook? Set your virtual private network (VPN) to mainland China, where these websites and apps are blocked, for a relaxing online retreat!

This is the satirical concept behind Shanghai– and New York–based artist Miao Ying’s Hardcore Digital Detox (2018), the first work in M+’s new online series of digital commissions housed here on M+ Stories. The browser-based work is a playful reflection on both the ‘Chinternet’ and World Wide Web, using the concept of a wellness retreat to comment on issues of global capitalism, online propaganda, and media democracy.

Below, we chat to Miao Ying about the inspiration behind the work, her relationship with censorship, and unicorn poop.

What inspired you to create an online retreat experience?

Photograph of a round fountain inside a building with a gold-coloured abstract sculpture in the middle. People are sitting on the edge of the fountain. A large concrete staircase rises above the fountain in a circular pattern.

Digging into the Hong Kong Architecture Archives of Wong Tung & Partners

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In our 'From the Archives' blog series, we shine a spotlight on the M+ Collection Archives. Below, with the help of M+ staff members Kevin Forkan, Archivist, and Shirley Surya, Associate Curator, Design and Architecture, we introduce the museum's archives of Wong Tung & Partners (formerly Wong & Threadgill Architects and Engineers), which details four significant projects from this important Hong Kong architectural firm: Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Sheraton Hotel, Tai Koo Shing, and Hong Kong Park.

Who is this archive from, and what’s in it?

Shirley: This archive is from the architectural firm Wong Tung, one of the large architectural firms established in Hong Kong in 1963 by Shanghai-born Americans Bill Wong and Albert Tung. Like all of the Hong Kong architecture firms that we first chose to represent in the M+ Collections, they played a formative role in shaping Hong Kong’s architectural and urban landscape.

Kevin: The Wong Tung & Partners Archive contains material documenting four selected projects: private housing developments Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Tai Koo Shing, the Sheraton Hotel at Tsim Sha Tsui, and Hong Kong Park. Although it’s not one of our biggest archival collections, containing only a few dozen items, it does have an interesting mix of formats, from large architectural reproductions, published material, digital photographs, and VHS tape.

Mei Foo Sun Chuen (1965–1978)