WORLD PREMIERE IN BEIJING:
New artwork for the Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection
For the first time, international luxury brand Montblanc has acquired artwork from the five best-known Chinese contemporary artists in its Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection. The work was commissioned from artists Fang Lijun, Qin Yufen, Zhu Jinshi, Wang Yin and Wang Guangyi. At the Today Art Museum in Beijing, Montblanc presents the artworks of the five, which can be seen afterwards at the CIGE (China International Gallery Exposition) until 16 April. According to Montblanc, these are the most distinguished progressive thinkers in China. Montblanc has been involved in China for years in a variety of ways and is one of the most popular luxury brands in the country.
With this addition, the Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection has grown to include a total of 75 pieces by artists from all over the world. Every artist has the same briefing: to artistically interpret the Montblanc logo – the white star. The Montblanc collection is open to the public and is exhibited in the company's headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. Montblanc is proud to collect these five art works by Chinese artists as part of their collection as well, since China is one of the most important countries economically in the international luxury market. In September, 2005 Montblanc just established a subsidiary in Shanghai in the form of a wholly foreign-owned enterprise, and it is now planning over 100 boutiques with more than 400 employees in the near future.
Montblanc is observing the development of Chinese culture with particular fascination and respect. The company has been helping to promote this development for years and has announced its intention to become much more involved. The work of the five modern Chinese artists presented in Beijing today is a yet another milestone in Montblanc's art patronage.
Mr. Lutz Bethge, Managing Director of Montblanc International praised the work of the young Chinese artists in the Today Art Museum: "I'm excited by the power and diversity of the impulses that Montblanc receives from the installations and paintings of the five Chinese artists. They contribute to make our collection richer in so many ways. I'm already looking forward to the reactions of my colleagues at home in Germany when they see these works of art."
Mr. Bethge called the Today Art Museum, currently under renovation, a "home for intelligent and innovative minds". He sees it as a platform for creativity, innovation and a catalyst for an art that is attracting more and more attention.
The Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection
The Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection was founded in 2002. In just five years, artists from all over the world have contributed over 70 significant pieces, including Sylvie Fleury from Switzerland, Gerwald Rockenschaub from Austria, Thomas Ruff from Germany, Liam Gillick and Gary Hume from the UK, and Tom Sachs and David LaChapelle from the US etc. The idea behind the collection is that every artist interprets the Montblanc logo – the legendary white star, analogous with the snow-covered peak of the highest mountain in Europe and the symbol of quality in absolute perfection – from their own perspective.
Montblanc's diverse involvement in China
Montblanc has been involved in China since 1992. In 2005, it was one of the first luxury brands to receive authorisation to found an independent subsidiary, a wholly foreign-owned enterprise. Today, Montblanc China is running some 40 of its own boutiques with more than 400 employees and it is one of the most famous and sought-after luxury brands in Beijing, as well as in other large cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenyang, etc.
In 2004 Montblanc sponsored the "Philharmonia of the Nations" to play for the first time in Beijing and Shanghai. One of the most spectacular discoveries of the philharmonic is the Chinese percussionist Li Biao from Nanjing.
Also in 2005 at the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award in Beijing, the company honoured dancer Yang Li Ping with an award for her commitment to the Yunnan minority cultural preservation. This was the third year that the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage was granted in China. The winner for 2004 was Zhang Xin and Xiao Xiangyu was for 2003.
Additional Montblanc initiatives in China: Chinese-European leadership
The company is pursuing several goals with the Montblanc Initiative for Chinese-European Leadership Development. In this way, Montblanc is supporting the education of the next generation of leaders for Chinese-German and Asian-European business relations. The luxury brand is also promoting the city partnership between Hamburg and Shanghai. Since the founding of the Chinese subsidiary office in Shanghai in the middle of 2005, the international company has been promoting the exchange of art and culture with China. As an international brand with more than 300 of its own boutiques in over 70 countries, Montblanc is additionally pursuing a forward-looking international approach to personnel development.