M+, set to be Hong Kong’s first major museum for international contemporary art when it finally opens in the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2018, has acquired the painting S.S. Rajputana leaving the port of Bombay – 29th August 1931 by contemporary Indian artist Atul Dodiya at Art Basel Hong Kong, where it could be seen hanging at the contemporary Indian gallery Chemould Prescott Road.
The buy was made possible by the $5 million (in Hong Kong dollars, or $644,000 in U.S. dollars) Brown Family Annual Acquisition Fund, established by the Hong Kong-based philanthropist and artist Rosamund Brown for the purpose of acquiring work at Art Basel Hong Kong for the museum’s collection over the next ten years. The selection was decided upon by this year’s jury, which is composed of Doryun Chong, M+’s chief curator; Lesley Ma, curator of ink art at M+; Joselina Cruz, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Manila; and Mika Yoshitake, assistant curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
The Dodiya painting is only the latest acquisition to join M+’s growing collection; in a year, it has amassed over 4,000 works in a variety of disciplines that include visual art, design, architecture, and moving image. As Doryun Chong, chief curator said in a statement, “M+ is thrilled to acquire this first work by Atul Dodiya, one of the most important Indian artists working today, for our growing collection. We have been gradually expanding our purview to include [the] south and Southeast Asia. Dodiya is a perfect addition to the collection in that regard.”