Skip to content

Shirley Tse will represent Hong Kong at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, in an exhibition curated by Christina Li and co-organised by M+ and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council

The exhibition, Hong Kong’s Collateral Event of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, will open in Venice on 11 May 2019.

Artist Shirley Tse. Photograph courtesy of
the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

Curator Christina Li.
Photograph by Michael CW Chiu


(14 June 2018, Hong Kong) M+, Hong Kong’s new museum of visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) are pleased to announce the selection of Shirley Tse as the featured artist for Hong Kong’s participation in the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. The internationally recognised Hong Kong–born, Los Angeles–based artist will present a new, site-specific body of work in a solo exhibition curated by Christina Li, an independent curator based in Hong Kong and Amsterdam. The exhibition will be submitted as a Collateral Event to the 2019 edition of La Biennale di Venezia, one of the most important forums for contemporary art in the world, and will be held between 11 May and 24 November 2019. The professional and press preview will take place on 8–10 May 2019.

This marks the fourth collaboration between M+ and HKADC for Hong Kong’s participation in La Biennale di Venezia, following the solo presentations of Lee Kit in 2013, Tsang Kin-Wah in 2015, and Samson Young in 2017, all critically acclaimed and enthusiastically received by the public. As was the case with these three exhibitions, M+ and HKADC will ensure that Hong Kong audiences have the opportunity to see the exhibition of Shirley Tse’s work in a new, locally adapted exhibition following the close of the Venice presentation, in spring 2020 at the M+ Pavilion in the West Kowloon Cultural District. Following the precedent of the 2017 edition, in which Hong Kong–based independent curator Ying Kwok curated the exhibition with M+, the 2019 edition will be curated by Li, jointly selected by M+ and HKADC.

Suhanya Raffel, Executive Director of M+, emphasises the importance of the ongoing collaboration between M+ and HKADC for the growth of the international presence of Hong Kong artists and curators: ‘The close working relationship of M+ and HKADC has gone from strength to strength over the past three editions of La Biennale di Venezia, and I am delighted to see our collaboration develop further in this presentation of work by Shirley Tse. Together, M+ and HKADC continue to make important contributions to the global visibility and resonance of Hong Kong artists and curators, and deepen our commitment to the arts in Hong Kong. Moreover, I am particularly pleased with the selection of a female artist to represent Hong Kong in Venice in 2019.’

Winsome Chow, Chief Executive of HKADC, highlights the collaboration between M+ and HKADC in the coming edition of La Biennale di Venezia: ‘HKADC and M+ have built up a solid and trustworthy collaboration over the previous three editions with a committed mission to promoting the excellence of Hong Kong arts internationally. By pulling together our expertise and resources, we are pleased to collaborate with M+ again to participate in La Biennale di Venezia in 2019. We are confident that with homegrown curator Christina Li’s rich curatorial experiences, the presentation of Hong Kong international artist Shirley Tse’s site-specific works will bring a magnificent experience to the audiences.’

The selected artist Shirley Tse expresses her delight with the opportunity to represent Hong Kong in Venice: ‘The announcement couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been developing a new body of work, and La Biennale di Venezia is the most apt platform for it. It is a deep honour to represent Hong Kong, my hometown, and a place that shaped my formative years as an artist. Big thanks to Christina Li for visiting me in my Los Angeles studio on a rare rainy day, and for inviting me. I look forward to collaborating with the curatorial team headed by her to bring our vision to fruition.’

The exhibition marks the fourth collaboration between M+ and HKADC, and the second time a guest curator from Hong Kong is engaged to work with M+. Christina Li, Guest Curator for this edition, underscores the relevance of this collaboration: ‘It is a tremendous honour to be invited to curate Hong Kong’s presentation at La Biennale di Venezia. I’m excited to be able to curate, for the very first time for this platform, a solo exhibition of work by a female artist. I have long been following Shirley Tse’s intricate and daring sculptural practice, as well as her work as a dedicated art educator. This will be the perfect opportunity to showcase the geographical reach of Hong Kong contemporary art beyond the city’s borders to an international audience, and to re-introduce Tse’s work to the Hong Kong public.’

Doryun Chong, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of M+, is Consulting Curator of the exhibition: ‘We are immensely proud of the three successful solo exhibitions of Hong Kong artists in the last three editions of La Biennale di Venezia. In particular, the last, highly acclaimed exhibition in 2017, in which we engaged for the first time a guest curator, Ying Kwok, to work with the selected artist, Samson Young, convinced us that both M+ and our collaboration with HKADC have matured enough to support working with an external curator. Christina Li has amply distinguished herself with a series of intellectually engaging curatorial projects in recent years in Hong Kong and beyond, and she is the obvious choice for the 2019 edition. The choice of Shirley Tse, who is admired for her artistic practice as well as her longstanding educational commitment, signals a further growth in the Hong Kong contemporary art scene, which is already well recognised internationally.’

Shirley Tse’s exhibition curated by Christina Li promises to respond to the unique site condition of the venue of the Hong Kong exhibition, ideally situated in front of the entrance to the Arsenale, one of the two main sites of the international section of La Biennale di Venezia.

M+ and HKADC are planning ambitious pre-opening and post-opening public programmes in Hong Kong, in an effort to connect the selected artist’s and curator’s international experiences and perspectives with the quickly evolving Hong Kong contemporary art scene.

Following the precedents of the previous exhibitions, M+ will form a curatorial team consisting of an assistant curator, a curatorial intern provided by HKADC on an eighteen-month-long internship, and a group of twelve exhibition and technical interns to help stage and facilitate the six-month-long exhibition on-site in Venice, offering unique professional opportunities to young talents in Hong Kong and continuing M+ and HKADC’s commitment to the growth of future leaders of Hong Kong’s art scene.