A person is taking a selfie of himself with two other people standing on a tower looking out over the Tokyo cityscape. All three people are smiling at the camera.

Outside Hong Kong: Museums as Cultural Ecosystems

What happens when museum workers visit each other?

The M+ International initiative was recently launched to create a platform to discuss current issues facing museums by partnering with international institutions. As part of this project, M+ and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo recently organised a symposium to reconsider the meaning of museum collections.

In addition to this symposium, three M+ team members visited the Mori Art Museum for two weeks to work with and learn from the staff there. We sat down with them to chat about what they learned.

Participants:

  • William Seung, Curatorial Assistant, Design and Architecture
  • Ping Ping Tung, Exhibition Designer
  • Nixon Wong, Assistant Curator, Learning and Interpretation
An artwork print featuring Chinese characters against a dark background is mounted on a sheet of clear polyester in a frame, held together by clips and held up on a metal framework. The work is being backlit, with light shining through. A group of people stand around the set-up, and a camera is pointed at the work.

How Do Museums Photograph Objects?

Every day museum visitors take photographs of objects and artworks with their phones. But a museum’s process of photography is much more involved. At M+, the team has been working creatively in a temporary facility whilst preparing for their move to a purpose-built studio in the new building in West Kowloon.

Below, the Rights and Reproductions team at M+, which leads the museum’s digitisation process, talks about what this process looks like.

Interviewees:

  • Tom Morgan, Manager, Rights & Reproductions
  • Davis Leung, Copyright & Images Officer
  • Dan Leung, Picture Editor

What is ‘digitisation’?

Tom: It is about creating digital images of objects in our collections. In a wider sense, digitisation also includes text records around the image; anything involved in representing collection objects digitally.

A man smiles at the camera while sitting on the steps of a trailer, which is covered in grey sheet metal. The words ‘M+ Rover’ are spray painted on the side of the trailer.

Meet the Team: A Roving Resource for Students

Dicky Yeung, Assistant Curator, Learning and Interpretation, answers five questions about his job at M+!

1. What brought you to M+?

I was an intern for The Infinite Nothing, Hong Kong artist Tsang Kin-Wah’s 2015 solo show at the 56th Venice Biennale, co-organised by M+ and Hong Kong Arts Development Council. At the time, I had just quit my job in a local secondary school and thought that no job in the world would suit me. I studied creative media in university, and wanted to work with art and creativity, as well as to build relationships with and among people. I didn’t realise that the job of museum curator could actually be about caring for people—in my mind, this role was mysterious. I likened being a curator to being almost like a PR person, marketing and interacting with the press.

Groups of three of four people sit on chairs in small circles, talking to each other. The groups are set up in a booth with the M+ logo in the corner.

Human Library: What did Visitors Ask M+ Staff?

During Art Basel Hong Kong 2019, M+ organised a human library, where staff members acted as ‘books’ that could be borrowed by the public for short conversations. Anyone passing by could submit questions for staff to answer during these exchanges.

Here are the five most asked visitor questions, along with responses from five different human books:

1. What skills are required for your work? How did you develop them?