Having a root canal done today. A very special root canal: they go in through a crown next to the tooth with the troublesome nerve, thus keeping the otherwise healthy tooth intact. Or something. Sounds like a lot of exciting fun, anyway.
While we’re waiting to see how the HK Museum of History revamps its content, we also have multitudinous phases of the West Kowloon Cultural Hub-Zone mega-project unfolding. The SCMP lists all or most the components of the nightmarish white-elephant bloat in its article on the departure of the hub-zone’s boss (who was on HK$5 million a year).
How many theatres does the place need? I count six (Lyric, Music, Great, medium and black boxes 1 and 2). Then there are stages and halls in the vast Xiqu Centre and maybe in Freespace that are also, in effect, theatres.
Not much about it in the article, but there are also plans for commercial complexes – which presumably means tacky shopping malls, a hotel, yet more conference facilities and maybe offices. Having overbuilt ‘cultural’ venues, the project must have this other stuff to bring in rental income to help pay for it all. I’m pretty sure luxury apartments must feature in all this, because how can Hong Kong have a tech/culture/other zone without luxury apartments?
Then there are the museums. M+ was supposed to be the core modern art showcase, with a big, already acquired collection of edgy contemporary and modern Chinese works. How many of these will be left in the basement because the new NatSec regime considers them subversive? And there’s the Palace Museum, wedged in as a patriotic afterthought and affiliated with Mainland institutions, which will no doubt lend itself to overtly political exhibits.
The original plan was to leave the land (reclaimed for the airport rail system) as a park for the community. But that was under the old colonial government. Then the handover came, and the emphasis shifted to real-estate and construction boondoggles for the tycoons – and now, late in the day, to the ideological needs of the CCP. Recent developments in Hong Kong governance in microcosm. It would make a nice little display at the new-look HK History Museum.