Art in the world of Hong Kong luxury
Despite the economy and all the changes that are taking place worldwide, art still holds a special place in our hearts. At least I hope so, because art is something that transcends the times, something that speaks to the human existence in a unique way. When presented with an artwork, we experience it with our senses and intellect. What we’ve seen, heard or touched becomes a lasting, sometimes even life-changing, impression. Over the past few decades, almost every fashion house or brand has been associated with the arts through events, collaborations, foundations, commissions or sponsorship. The list of brands involved is quite impressive as we note some of the biggest names in the luxury world today.
A Passion for Creation
Ever since Marc Jacobs’ arrival as Artistic Director in 1997, Louis Vuitton has been actively associated with the realm of art on a global level. In cooperation with the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, Louis Vuitton held an exhibition at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. “Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation” took place during the 17th French May Arts Festival 2009. A great opportunity to get to know the brand, this exhibition showcased the Louis Vuitton’s historic suitcases, collaboration with contemporary artists, Frank Gehry’s project for Fondation Louis Vuitton Pour la Création, and finally, an entire exhibition area dedicated to seven Hong Kong artists. Displayed were works by Takashi Murakami, Stephen Sprouse, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cao Fei, Yang Fudong, Paul Chan, etc. The Hong Kong Museum of Art even dressed up for this large-scale exhibition, as artist Richard Prince wrapped up the whole building with his “After Dark” Series, making it stand out on the shoreline of Victoria Harbour.
In a fashion, finance and arts hub like Hong Kong, Art HK is an event not to be missed. Every May, it is where luxury brands, local artists, international press and enthusiasts gather under one roof. This year, artist Chow Chun Fai collaborated with Shanghai Tang and reinterpreted “Chinese identity” by re-acting classic TV dramas and re-portraying famous paintings by French painter Edouard Manet. He performed at Shanghai Tang’s Pedder Street flagship shop, and all his works were displayed at the art fair. Playing with both classical and contemporary Chinese and western themes in his performances, Chow echoed Shanghai Tang’s infusion of varied Chinese cultures.
With the wealth of projects between global brands and artists, it is apparent that the concept of luxury nowadays is inseparable with art. The world of luxury is a diverse one, and art plays a major role in defining a modern, sophisticated lifestyle. Next time you go shopping, why not ask your favourite brand in store to find out if it works with any artists? You might just discover new luxuries on your next trip.