The multi-billion dollar museum, which features contemporary artwork from leading Chinese, Asian and Western artists, is Hong Kong's bid to match institutions like the Tate Modern in London, the MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
The imposition of a sweeping national security law by China last year the city has cast a pall over the opening, as curators and artists struggle to find a balance between artistic expression and political censorship. Earlier this year, pro-Beijing politicians and media outlets criticised certain works in the M+ for breaching the national security law and inciting "hatred" against China, including a photograph by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, giving the middle finger in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
Despite the controversy surrounding the museum, visitors on the first day speaking to Reuters were excited about the long-awaited new addition to the cultural scene.
"I feel like it will become a new landmark in Hong Kong. I think this place is full of artistic style, with an atmosphere of being designed by artists. I hope in the future it will become a place where Hong Kong people will come for leisure," 23-year-old university graduate Alan Tang told Reuters.