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2015.04.21 Tue, by
Tobias Berger switches from M+ to CPS

It was announced this week that Tobias Berger has prematurely left his post as curator of visual art at M+ to assume the leading role at the Central Police Station (CPS) in Hong Kong. Berger is a prolific scholar and curator whose work during the past decade encompasses posts at Artspace in Auckland, New Zealand (where he was Director), three and a half years as Managing Director and curator at Hong Kong’s Para-Site, Chief Curator at the Nam June Paik Art Center in South Korea from early 2009 to mid-2010 and his most recent job at M+. In a press statement released last Friday, CPS praised Berger’s rich experience in the Asia-Pacific region, having “curated or co-curated nearly 100 art events for art museums, art spaces and art biennials in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, Oceania and Europe.”

As Head of Art at CPS, Berger will work alongside Hong Kong-born Winnie Yeung Wing-yin in the position of Head of Heritage. The reclamation and renewal of Hong Kong’s historic Central Police Station is a project backed by the local government and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (The Trust) with a heavy emphasis on conservation.

The project—which was overseen initially by Berlin-based curator David Elliott and includes two Herzog & de Meuron-designed buildings —looks to reclaim a total of 28,000 square meters (16 historical buildings) to create a new contemporary art and heritage site. Located in the heart of the city’s Central district, the HKD 2.1 billion initiative is part of the city’s push to become a destination for contemporary art.

Tobias Berger (Photo: Venice Biennale.hk).

Tobias Berger (Photo: Venice Biennale.hk).

M+ Executive Director Lars Nittve expressed his gratitude and best wishes for Berge’s contribution to the institution, saying, “We are of course sorry to see him leave but we also recognize that this is a wonderful opportunity […] It is refreshing to see a vibrant ecosystem developing that allows creative and professional development within the sector.”

In an email to Art Asia Pacific magazine, Berger delivered a vision for CPS: “[It] will establish a new major independent heritage and art institution in the heart of Hong Kong, providing an important new platform for art and cultural exchange.”

The question arises now as to who will fill Berger’s shoes at M+. The position of Vice President/ Museum Director at Asia Society in New York also remains empty, making for two high-profile slots to be taken in the coming months.

Source: Art Asia Pacific