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09/01/2015Founding Shekou Design Museum


China Merchants Group (CMG) has appointed Ole Bouman as Director of the Shekou Design Museum in Shenzhen, a project being developed in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) to become a major design hub for China. Bouman will take up his new role from the beginning of January 2015.

Bouman is a cultural historian, editor and critic, and cross-disciplinary curator who was formerly the Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (2007-2013), and the Creative Director of the fifth Shenzhen Architecture and Urbanism Biennale in 2013/14. Bouman will head up a small founding team in Shenzhen comprising Zhao Rong as Project Manager and Yuan Man and Wu Sichao as Project Assistants.

Zhang Lin, Vice General Manager of China Merchants Property Development, said: “I am delighted to welcome Ole Bouman as the Director of the Shekou Design Museum. He has a strong track record of finding innovative formats to produce, present, explore and discuss design, which we believe will be very beneficial to the Shekou Design Museum. The museum aims to become a platform for promoting new design ideas in China as well as introducing the best international design to China. We hope Bouman’s appointment, alongside our collaboration with the V&A to establish the Shekou Design Museum, will help to encourage a wider understanding of design in China and increase productive dialogue between the design communities in China and the rest of the world.”

Ole Bouman, said: “In the last 35 years, the world has witnessed China achieve a better life for hundreds of millions of people. Shenzhen and the Pearl River Delta region have played a big role in this history, whereas Shekou can be considered its cradle. It is really exciting to work on the next stage of this development by fostering a new quality agenda in design culture and industry, presented to a large audience, in one of the most pioneering cities of the world.”

The Shekou Design Museum is planned to open at the end of 2016 as key element of The Sea World Arts and Culture Centre, a core development project implemented by CMG as part of its wider ambition to build a ‘new Shekou’ in Shenzhen. Shenzhen is the first city in China designated by UNESCO as the city of design and creative industries. The Sea World Arts and Culture Centre will cover a floor space of 70,000 square meters and will include the Shekou Design Museum, the Guanfu Museum and a retail area. The renowned Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki was commissioned by CMG to design the Centre, his first building in China.

The development of the Shekou Design Museum is led by China Merchants Property Development Co. Ltd., the real estate flagship of CMG, in collaboration with the V&A, London. The V&A will have a dedicated gallery within the Shekou Design Museum to show a curated display from its collections as well as space to present major V&A exhibitions. Luisa Elena Mengoni, a Senior Curator from the V&A, has been working in Shenzhen on a three-year secondment since October 2014 as Head of V&A Gallery, Shekou, acting as the main liaison between the Shekou Design Museum team in China and the V&A team in London.

The London-based team developing the V&A elements of the Shekou Design Museum has also recently been appointed with Brendan Cormier now Lead Curator and Sunny Cheung working as Assistant Curator. Together they are responsible for researching and devising a narrative for the V&A Gallery within the Shekou Design Museum. Alexandra Willett has been appointed by the V&A as the Shekou Project Manager. This new V&A Shekou team is led by Anaïs Aguerre, V&A Head of International Initiatives.


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