- School: School of Art History and Cultural Policy
- Supervisor: Dr Victoria Durrer
The Reshaping of Hong Kong Culture after 1997: Constructing the West Kowloon Cultural District
Marco’s research project focuses on culture-led development in Asia. The design and implementation of cultural districts as sources of urban regeneration is a subject of much scrutiny in cultural policy studies. Largely argued to originate in the West, particularly the USA, and Europe, the design and use of cultural districts is now a global phenomenon with initiatives in Asian cities. Much academic literature focuses on western experiences and critiques of the cultural district, including further disparities in economic inequality and lack of evidence in achieving social and economic goals. However, despite the uncertainty, the policy discourses of cultural commodification and instrumentalization have been adopted by Asian cities in the context of globalisation. West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) is a 40 hectares cultural district funded by Hong Kong Government since 1998. It is composed of exhibition spaces, an art park, theatres and commercial spaces. Xiqu Center (Chinese Opera Center) and M+ Museum are two predominant cultural facilities. It is interesting to explore how global cultural policy transfer has been adopted through the implementation and programming of WKCD. I argue there is a need to understand local cultural logics that involves thinking about the relationship of cultural districts to the political and geographical positioning of given localities.
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