NY Times on ASHK Grand Opening

On January 31, The New York Times covered Asia Society's expansion plans in Hong Kong and Houston.

"Even as cultural organizations around the country contract because of the economic downturn," Robin Pogrebin wrote, "Asia Society is pushing against the tide with two new multimillion-dollar buildings." Asia Society Hong Kong opens its doors next week, while Asia Society Texas takes its bow in April. Pogrebin continued:

The Hong Kong project is in a 19th-century former factory that was used by the British military to produce and store explosives and munitions. The architects are Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, who designed the American Folk Art Museum’s former home on West 53rd Street in Manhattan and the new Barnes Foundation being built in Philadelphia.

The Houston center, in the city’s museum district, was designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, who was responsible for the renovation of the Museum of Modern Art. The Korean artist Lee Ufan has been commissioned to produce a site-specific work to inaugurate the sculpture garden there. ...

Each center has art galleries, lecture halls, meeting spaces and offices. Both are opening with exhibitions that pay tribute to Asia Society’s founding with selections of traditional Asian art from its permanent collection. (The society started a contemporary collection in 2007.)

In addition to the piece in the Times, the grand opening of Asia Society's Hong Kong Center has attracted considerable media attention elsewhere, including:

  • "The new Asia Society Hong Kong Center stands above Admiralty, floating above the trees, among the clouds," writes Time Out Hong Kong.
  • Siu Sai-wo, writing in Hong Kong's The Standard, says Asia Society Hong Kong represents "the latest trend in heritage revitalization" putting "new modern structures side by side with old ones."
  • Talking to ArtInfo about Asia Society Hong Kong, Melissa Chiu, Asia Society Museum Director, said: “We all know that Asia is growing in political and economic importance, and so by opening a building in Hong Kong it’s a major architectural statement about Hong Kong's past and future."