• News
  • Mar 28, 2022

M+ Names New Board Chair

Portrait of BERNARD CHARNWUT CHAN. Courtesy West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

On March 28, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announced that the convenor of the Hong Kong SAR government’s executive council, businessman Bernard Charnwut Chan, will be the next chair of the board of M+, the recently opened museum of visual culture. Current board chair, Victor Lo Chung-wing, is retiring from the position after serving for six years and after more than 15 years of close involvement with the WKCDA. As one of the earliest members, Lo served as the convenor of the Museums Advisory Group which in 2006 conceived of the museum’s original M+ (or “Museum Plus”) concept.

Chan’s two-year term begins on April 1. Chan is currently the board chair of the Hong Kong Palace Museum, also located in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and will occupy both roles through the end of the year following the launch of the Palace Museum. President of Asia Financial Holdings and chairman of Asia Insurance Company, Chan is currently a member of the WKCDA board and chairman of the advisory committee for the heritage and arts complex Tai Kwun, funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Additionally, Swiss collector Uli Sigg, whose collection of Chinese contemporary art forms the bedrock of the museum, was re-appointed as a board member of M+. Alan Lau Ka-ming, was also re-appointed and named vice chair of the M+ board.

According to an unnamed insider source quoted in the South China Morning Post, the overhaul of the M+ board is intended to boost corporate sponsorship as the museum is expected to become self-financing. To that end, the WKCDA named four new M+ board members from the corporate world: Anita Fung Yuen-mei, former chief executive of HSBC Hong Kong; Christine Ip Yeung See-ming, chief executive of UOB Greater China; Paulo Pong Kin-yee, founder and managing director of the Altaya Group; and Neil Shen Nan-peng, founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China. They replace four current members of the M+ board: Roger Garcia, David Pong Chun-yee, Lo Kai-yin, and Vincent Lo Wing-sang, previously the vice chair.

After opening in November, M+ has been closed since early January due to Hong Kong’s stringent social-distancing regulations amid a fifth wave of Covid-19 that has infected an estimated one-quarter of the population and caused more than 7,250 deaths.