Museum now features artwork on the outside as well as inside

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 May, 2009, 12:00am

If you've passed by the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in the past few days, you would have probably noticed the entire Museum of Art has been given a new facade. In place of the ugly bathroom-tiling look, the exterior is now covered with a collage of images resembling the covers of Harlequin romance books combined with stereotypical Suzie Wong-era Hong Kong graphics. For once, we're actually not looking at advertising billboards but an art installation by widely regarded artist Richard Prince, as part of his After Dark series. The spectacle is the largest and most prominent work included in a high-profile exhibition sponsored by conspicuous consumption pusher Louis Vuitton, which opens on Friday after a private preview party in the museum on Thursday.

All its top executives will be in Hong Kong for the opening, including LVMH group boss Bernard Arnault, who is the world's 14th richest man according to Forbes Magazine. The Museum of Art setting obviously is intended to lend prestige and cultural kudos to the luxury label, however there is one minor drawback to holding the swanky opening party there, instead of at the usual locale of the LV flagship store or a fancy hotel. It seems some of the invited VIPs and guests are, well, let's just call them novices to the art world and didn't even know where the Museum of Art was. As a result, the company has been fielding calls and having to give directions to the museum.