In its second year as a global Associate Partner of Art Basel, Swiss Haute horology brand Audemars Piguet celebrated the inauguration of their new lounge at Art Basel in Hong Kong with a special evening reception at the prestigious venue Le Dôme de Cristal. Held in honor of leading French designer Mathieu Lehanneur who created the new lounge concept “MINERAL LAB” and Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger whose striking new video work called “MEASURE” is featured in the lounge, the late night party was attended by over 300 guests, including leading artists, international collectors and gallerists.
Olivier Audemars, Board Member and great-grandson of one of the company founders, welcomed guests to the event saying: “art is an important field to Audemars Piguet and also a constant source of inspiration for us. We always emphasise the connections between art and watchmaking as the two worlds share common values such as passion, respect and precision. We are glad to have the opportunity to develop a long-term collaboration with Art Basel so we can forge closer ties with the world of contemporary art.”
With both artists in attendance, the reception allowed guests to get a taste of the new lounge concept as Kurt Hentschläger’s work “MEASURE” was presented during the event across three screens. Attending guests could also enjoy light projections inspired by Kurt Hentschläger’s video on the venue’s dome-like ceiling along with a striking paper sculpture by acclaimed artist Soilworm Lai in the form of Mathieu Lehanneur’s concept for the new Audemars Piguet lounge.
Audemars Piguet unveiled Mathieu Lehanneur’s new lounge concept along with unseen video work by Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger on Wednesday 14th May with a special media reception in the Collectors’ Lounge at the Art Basel show in Hong Kong. On Thursday 15th May renowned socialite and philanthropist Mrs. Cathy Lee was welcomed and given a tour of the new lounge by Olivier Audemars. Mrs. Cathy Lee and her husband Mr. Martin Lee Ka-Shing, son of the founder of Henderson Land Development, are avid collectors of Audemars Piguet. After visiting the lounge, Mrs. Cathy Lee came to the evening reception with Olivier Audemars and wore a Royal Oak Chronograph in pink gold.
For his new design concept “MINERAL LAB” Lehanneur has explored the themes of technology versus nature. From the use of high-tech glass cubes, to the use of real Swiss rocks of the Vallée de Joux moulded following an archaeological process and "stoneprint" technology, Lehanneur welcomes precise watchmaking "savoir-faire” to create his own, new version of nature. Lehanneur’s designs will bring the captivating landscape of the home of Audemars Piguet, which has played such a key part in both brand's history and legacy of craftsmanship, to upcoming shows at Art Basel in Basel and Miami Beach later this year.
The new film work by Austrian video artist Kurt Hentschläger is displayed on the booth in the Collectors’ Lounge. Hentschläger has worked predominately with time-based media, light and sound for over 30 years and his panoramic film for Audemars Piguet depicts scenes from the iconic Vallée de Joux, captured during his visit. Kurt Hentschläger’s new work reflects on nature and technology in the 21st century. It features the captivating landscape that has played an influential role in shaping the story of Audemars Piguet and the development of fine watchmaking.
As the centerpiece of the Audemars Piguet booth the brand features a selection of exceptional historic and contemporary timepieces. The exhibition includes a retrospective of the iconic Royal Oak Offshore 42 mm collection alongside other important pieces from the brand’s origins in the 19th century until today. A watchmaker will also be at the lounge to show visitors the secrets of Audemars Piguet’s delicate polishing process.
Following Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong, the Audemars Piguet Booth and exhibition will travel to the Collectors’ Lounge at Art Basel in Basel from 19-22 June 2014, followed by the Miami Beach show from 4-7 December 2014.