Contemporary art China

Change of tack by Jockey Club

The project to transform a former Hong Kong police station into a cultural hub has a new vision for its contemporary art programme

Who will get to run the Central Police Station?

The project to transform the former Central Police Station into a cultural hub for Hong Kong by 2015 has a new vision for its contemporary art programme. A call has gone out for candidates to organise the programme.

Charles Saumarez Smith, the chief executive of London’s Royal Academy of Arts, who is in Hong Kong this week, says: “We are deeply interested in working with a local Hong Kong-based institution on programming exhibitions at the Central Police Station; we are here to explore some of the possibilities and plan to submit an ‘expression of interest’ to the Jockey Club in due course.”

A partnership between the Hong Kong government and the Jockey Club Charities Trust (JCCT), the HK$2.1bn ($270m) project includes the city’s oldest prison and covers around 300,000 sq. ft of space.

A consortium including the non-profit organisations Para Site and Asia Art Archive is also in the running. The deadline for bids is 5 July.

It was initially thought that the JCCT was going to partly fund an operating company to run the programme. But fears that the contemporary art could be too controversial led to an independent operator now being sought.

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