The spirit of art

23 Jan 2020 / 10:29 H.

MOËT Hennessy Diageo (MHD) Malaysia kicks off the Year of the Rat with its festive campaign ‘Renewal of Hope’.

The French cognac brand has collaborated with renowned Chinese contemporary artist, Zhang Huan to honour the beauty of nature’s perpetual cycles of renewal through a distinctive artwork portraying the brand’s eaux-de-vie, French for ‘water of life’, as a metaphor for the New Year.

The artwork titled Spheres of Hope depicts a resonant dreamscape which exudes glittering radiance and a masterful interpretation of the infinite cycle of nature.

The vivid painting is also featured on a number of limited-edition bottles specially designed for the festive season.

The artist explained: “Hennessy’s eaux-de-vie was the direct inspiration for my artwork. I saw each eaux-de-vie like an individual cell, and they come together to create something unique.

“If you look closely, inside them you can see red Chinese lanterns, grapes and amber wine.

“The synergy between Hennessy and China is rooted in an understanding of the harmony as well as the festive atmosphere we celebrate during the New Year. This visual language uses strong colours to express the joys of the spirit.”

Commenting on the challenge of the commissioned work, Zhang said: “I was attracted to the brand’s mystique and I was curious about the cognac making process.

“The biggest challenge was how to blend Hennessy’s spirit and soul with ancient Chinese philosophies, and express the idea of the endless cycles of the universe through my art.

“In fact, the living cells in the painting are also a metaphor for every individual being in the universe. It is my hope that I can express the life of ‘ordinary things’ through a kind of universal form in my creations.

“This is the water of life, on the most basic, cellular level: it represents freedom, hope, prosperity and harvest. They can carry people’s wishes and blessings, including mine.”

At the launch of the ‘Renewal of Hope’ campaign at Plaza Arkadia at Desa Parkcity, Hennessy added festive spirit to the celebration by collaborating with Malaysian landscape designer Lim In Chong to create the Garden of Hope – an installation specially designed and built for Hennessy, with 12 trees holding individual coloured spheres inspired by shades of Zhang’s artwork.

MHD Malaysia managing director Thomas Bouleuc shared: “Every year, the world’s cities shine with red lanterns celebrating the start of the Lunar New Year. It’s a celebration of promising new beginnings and of a perpetual movement that Hennessy embraces generously.

“This is what we wanted to embody in this especially meaningful celebration.”

Visitors to Plaza Arkadia will be able to experience both artworks by Zhang and Lim until Feb 8.

Zhang’s artwork is also featured on Hennessy’s promotions and publicity throughout the campaign and on a microsite specially developed by Hennessy for the festivity.

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