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M+ Pavilion
2017.03.17 Fri - 2017.05.21 Sun
Opening Exhibition
M+ Pavilion,West Kowloon Cultural District, Tsim Sha Tsui
Opening Hours
Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays

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Ambiguously Yours: Gender in Hong Kong Popular Culture
[Press Release]

M+, Hong Kong’s museum of visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District is pleased to announce Ambiguously Yours: Gender in Hong Kong Popular Culture, the museum’s third show at the M+ Pavilion, a permanent space on the West Kowloon site that will host the museum’s exhibitions until the opening of the M+ building in late 2019.

Including over 90 works, Ambiguously Yours offers a fresh perspective on Hong Kong popular culture of the 1980s and 1990s by examining it as a platform for avant-garde experimentation in representations of gender identities. Focusing on androgyny, camp and gender ambiguity, this multi-layered exhibition presents the works of pioneers in costume design, music, film, and print media, further proposing the dynamic interplay between popular culture and the fields of art, design and moving image through the M+ collection.

The first three parts of the exhibition revisit the 1980s and 1990s, when Hong Kong’s leading Cantopop stars dominated regionally, and Hong Kong’s film industry was the third largest in the world. As the most prolific period in music, film and related industries, creative experimentation across genres gave rise to some of popular culture’s most memorable and iconic images. Including works by some of Hong Kong’s most popular performers, such as Roman Tam, Leslie Cheung, and Anita Mui, the exhibition shows how the widespread success of Cantopop in the 1980s and 1990s encouraged an exciting level of experimentation and risk-taking in gender representation on stage, on screen and in print.

Through film clips and stills from arthouse to comedy, the exhibition draws attention to the ways in which film has reflected changes in social and cultural attitudes to gender, and the complexity of contemporary relationships. Including clips from films such as Stanley Kwan’s classic ghost story, Rouge (1988), and Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express (1994), Ambiguously Yours also draws attention to narratives that draw on Western and Chinese theatrical traditions of role play and cross dressing.

The success of Cantopop and Hong Kong film encouraged record and film companies, publishers and advertising agencies to harness the popular appeal of performers, and through the work of art directors, photographers, graphic designers and stylists working across platforms, helped blur the boundaries between art and commerce. Through covers from City Magazine and the more recent 100Most magazine, the exhibition highlights the bold, often humorous ways in which magazine design has confronted societal norms. With works from designers and artists such as Alan Chan and Wing Shya, album covers are among the most succinct expressions of how photography and graphic design helped shape and communicate ideas.

The final section of the exhibition connects with the M+ collection to draw out the truly global nature and influence of popular culture today. From the collages of Japanese pop artist Tanaami Keiichi, to Ming Wong’s interpretation of Malay cinema, and the delicate gongbi paintings of Wilson Shieh, the exhibition examines the profound and galvanising influence that popular culture has had on art-making, breaking down the boundaries between art, design, and moving image.

Ambiguously Yours: Gender in Hong Kong Popular Culture is organised by Tina Pang, Curator, Hong Kong Visual Culture; and Chloe Chow, Assistant Curator, Hong Kong Visual Culture; with Janis Law, Curatorial Assistant, Moving Image. The exhibition’s curatorial advisors are Dr Ng Chun-hung, Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, HKU; and Dr Chow Yiu-fai, Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Creative Writing, Hong Kong Baptist University.

黄汉明,《四个马拉故事》/ Ming Wong, “Four Malay Stories”

黄汉明,《四个马拉故事》/ Ming Wong, “Four Malay Stories”

《罗文的光辉舞台》演出照 / Photo of Roman Tam’s Glorious Stage

《罗文的光辉舞台》演出照 / Photo of Roman Tam’s Glorious Stage

陈凯歌执导电影《霸王别姬》剧照 / Film still of Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine”

陈凯歌执导电影《霸王别姬》剧照 / Film still of Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine”

For further information, please contact:
Hong Kong: West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
[email protected]

International: SUTTON Hong Kong
[email protected]

About M+

Hong Kong’s museum for visual culture—encompassing 20th and 21st century art, design, and architecture, and moving image from Hong Kong, China, Asia, and beyond—M+ will be one of the largest museums of 20th and 21st century visual culture in the world. Located adjacent to the Art Park on the waterfront, the museum building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is scheduled to open in 2019.

About West Kowloon Cultural District

Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, the West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces, and M+, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances, and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including a two kilometre waterfront promenade.