Sheikha Nawar Al Qassimi, Vice President of Sharjah Art Foundation and Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director of M+ signing the MOU during the Hong Kong International Cultural Summit 2024. Photo: Winnie Yeung @ Visual Voices. Courtesy of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority


Sharjah Art Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with M+ on Sunday, 24 March 2024, during the Hong Kong International Cultural Summit hosted by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA).

Tagged as Asia's first global museum of contemporary visual culture, M+ is established under WKCDA, Hong Kong’s cultural landmark and one of the world’s most ambitious cultural projects. It envisions Hong Kong’s development into becoming an international arts and cultural hub and its commitment to promoting East-meets-West cultural exchange globally.

The MOU signed between M+ and Sharjah Art Foundation is one of the MOUs creating long-term partnerships between WKCDA and 21 leading arts and cultural institutions from across the globe. Formalising a long-term relationship between the two organisations, the MOU was signed by Sheikha Nawar Al Qassimi, Vice President of Sharjah Art Foundation and Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director of M+.

“We are thrilled to be taking this important step with M+, signing a Memorandum of Understanding which creates a framework for our future work together and underlines our commitment to the production and presentation of contemporary art,” said Sheikha Nawar Al Qassimi, Vice President of Sharjah Art Foundation. Since 2009 as a public arts institution, it has been our mission to encourage an understanding of the transformative role of art and we are dedicated to building further bridges across the international arts community and deepening our networks in Hong Kong, one of the most vibrant cultural centres globally. Following its premiere at Sharjah Biennial 15 in 2023, The Peacock’s Graveyard by Amar Kanwar is currently on show at M+ as part of the Shanshui: Echoes and Signals exhibition and we are confident that this co-commission with the museum, along with the signing of the MOU, is the start of many more exciting things to come.”

The Peacock’s Graveyard by Amar Kanwar is commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and M+, Hong Kong. The work contemplates the journey of death and its entanglement with the living through images of nature and fable-like short stories moving across seven screens. The installation weaves together several narrative structures such as traditional folklore, speculative fiction, and personal memoir to rekindle age-old philosophies with emerging forms of contemporary violence and suppression. Through various editing and staging methods, Kanwar offers a poetic vantage point from which to consider new ways of resistance, reconciliation, and politics.

The Peacock’s Graveyard premiered at Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present (7 February - 11 June 2023) before its current presentation as part of the exhibition Shanshui: Echoes and Signals at M+, Hong Kong (3 Feb 2024 – ongoing).

Other institutions signed MOUs with M+, Hong Kong including museums such as Centre Pompidou in France, Musée National Picasso-Paris in France, The National Art Center in Tokyo, Japan, Leeum Museum of Art, Samsung Foundation of Culture in Korea, Qatar Museums Authority, and Tate in the United Kingdom. M+ also partnered with the Getty Conservation Institute in the United States for conservation efforts and with film archives such as the Asian Film Archive in Singapore and the Thailand Film Archive.

As part of the 2024 Hong Kong Art Week, Sharjah Art Foundation also takes part in a series of events that underscores the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to contemporary art. The events are as follows:

TALK: Curating as Collaborative Practice: Presenting South-East Asia and beyond in the context of Middle East, Presented by Asia Society Hong Kong Center
28 March 2024, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm
ART CENTRAL, Central Harbourfront

With speakers Sharjah Biennial 16 co-curators Alia Swastika and Amal Khalaf, the talk will be bringing Alia and Amal's experience, as co-curators of the Sharjah Biennial, in initiating conversation with artists from different contexts and geopolitical situations, focusing on the practice of collaboration and working together, especially for trans-national connection that involve Southeast Asian artists to be engaged with wider landscape especially in the Middle east. 

TALK: How to Build a Biennial Together
29 March 2024, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm
ART BASEL CONVERSATIONS, Auditorium N101B, Level 1, 
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre

Biennials are reimagining curating as an exercise of working together by inviting curators and artists to collaborate on developing exhibitions. The Istanbul Biennial and Thailand Biennale are recent examples, with the Sharjah Biennial in 2025 led by five curators, one of whom is an artist. How do these collaborations expand the artist-curator relationship in the process? 

With speakers Gridthiya Gaweewong, artistic director of The Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok / Thailand Biennale Chiang Rai 2023; Amar Kanwar, co-curator, 2022 Istanbul Biennial; Rirkrit Tiravanija, artistic director, Thailand Biennale Chiang Rai 2023 and moderated by Amal Khalaf, co-curator, Sharjah Biennial 16, Director of Programmes at Cubitt and Alia Swastika, co-curator Sharjah Biennial 16, Director of the Biennale Jogja Foundation.