Art Museum of the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

2021

Situated near Tolo Harbor, away from the bustle of the city centre, the CUHK Art Museum is a hidden gem, dedicated to collecting, preserving, researching and exhibiting examples of China’s cultural heritage.

Units

4

Established in 1971, the Art Museum has built an impressive and valuable permanent collection of artifacts that span the arts and humanities, both ancient and pre-modern. A program of loans augments the core collection, with items from other museums and institutions. Together, the collections serve as a valuable research and teaching resource for the academic community – and as a delightful destination for Hong Kong’s residents and visitors.

In 2019 the University commissioned Goppion to create four new showcases for the Museum. Their purpose: to display a rotating selection of temporary exhibition artifacts, both from the permanent collection and loans from other international museums. The project was a direct collaboration between the Goppion team and the Director of the Museum, Professor Josh Yiu.

All four showcases are wall-standing and metal-topped, with between five and nine hinged doors on each case for ease of installing and removing the changing displays of objects.

Although the dimensions of the cases are all different, Goppion’s ‘group design’ principle underpinned the project thinking. Adopting this modular design approach rationalized the engineering, production and installation stages for seamless delivery – which was no small challenge at a time of strict quarantine restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of the process, we delivered all the bases, the backs and the top already assembled to speed the final assembly on site.

The display case designs place strict conservation requirements to the fore. Each case must accommodate different materials, including paper, wood, metal and ceramics – all with different conservations needs. Stabilization of relative humidity is achieved with electrolytic membranes for dehumidification and buffer material (silica-gel) for humidification.

Additional features include LED lighting on the front of the cases and a hanging system for paintings and scrolls, provided by our Japanese partner, Takyia.

Following the success of this project, in summer 2022 the University commissioned a further two modular showcases from Goppion. Both are located in the Museum’s new extension, designed by local Hong Kong architect, Rocco Design. The cases are huge (4.5 m high) but with similar features to the existing series, and the completed project will be inaugurated in December 2023.