Hublot Collaborates with Top Chinese Artist Yue Minjun

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Fantasy Brings Classic Fusion Monkey Artistic Watch into Reality.
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January 8th, 2016, Beijing, Royal City Art Museum - In celebration of the Year of the Monkey, Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot unveils the Classic Fusion Monkey Artistic Watch. The timepiece is a true contemporary piece of art, designed by internationally influential Chinese artist Yue Minjun. Yue Minjun is best known for oil paintings depicting himself in various settings, frozen in laughter. His work has been featured in numerous galleries and museums around the world.

Though the watch is Hublot’s first Chinese zodiac and contemporary art-themed timepiece, the brand collaborated with Yue Minjun, to pay tribute to traditional Chinese culture through his unrestrained artistic fantasy. As a result, Western watchmaking has collided with Eastern classic culture in a new form. The distinctive image of the Monkey King is a brand new embodiment of the “Art of Fusion.”

Loïc Biver, Hublot’s General Manager for Greater China, together with Yue Minjun, unveiled the Classic Fusion Monkey Artistic Watch as well as its original painting in a ceremony following the Beijing Opera performance, “Havoc in Heaven.” Inspired by the Monkey King from “Journey to the West”, Yue Minjun rebuilt the conventional perception of the Monkey King with his iconic laughing image. In the painting, the artist gives the brightly colored Monkey King an exaggerated laughing face to break through traditional thinking, thus interpreting the figure with a contemporary approach.

As for the collaboration with Hublot, in order to adapt his work to a watch, Yue Minjun said, “Hublot believes in the ‘Art of Fusion’, and what I do is freely present the fusion of the world on canvas. The reason I chose the Monkey King as the prototype is because he is not only an idol in classical Chinese literature, but he also symbolizes the powerful Chinese people who do not fear authority. I hope that this collaboration with Hublot is only the beginning of many to come. I also believe that there will be plenty of opportunities to present Chinese contemporary art together in the near future.”

As a talented contemporary Chinese artist, Yue Minjun is adept at rendering his symbolic image of the “Laughing Face” through sharp color contrast and exaggerated approach of expression. His “Laughing Man” has become an idol and icon in the artistic world. Integrating diverse eras, conditions and cultures, Yue Minjun uses his own image to draw numerous “Laughing Men” who laugh with eyes closed in euphoria to express his reflection about society. Being courageous enough to subvert tradition and be different, he exerts direct impact on the human soul with his ironic art. Critics have regarded his bold style as representative of cynical realism and ruffian culture. His maverick personal style aligns perfectly with Hublot’s ethos of “To Be First, To Be Different, and To Be Unique.”

Hublot chose not to be confined by traditional thoughts but instead create innovative ideas out of a liberal sentiment. The result is a highly imaginative watch, whilst mainting the essence of traditional Chinese art. Loïc Biver said in praise, “Yue Minjun is one of the most successful contemporary Chinese artists. His artistic accomplishment has been recognized in China and also worldwide. Personally, I admire his passion for art and audacious strides towards innovation. Hublot has been communicating and fusing with the world’s contemporary art for many years now. It is an honor for us to collaborate with an artist with such talent and personal style in China.”

HUBLOT & Yue Minjun: Classic Fusion Monkey Artistic Watch

The first Chinese zodiac watch released by Hublot in China eclectically represents traditional culture. The Classic Fusion Monkey Artistic Watch for the monkey year manifests the exceptional vigor of “being the first” through its unrestrained and marvelous fantasy about the Monkey King, an unorthodox hero. The Monkey King with his bright pink face grins on the blue dial, seemingly displaying his intrepid optimism and confidence against authority through an exaggerated facial expression. The bright yellow Golden Hoop around his head goes with the yellow kerchief around his neck.

The crescent of the Holden Hoop is painted at the number 12 position. Five Arabic dial numbers are in irregular forms. The mark at the position of number 4 stands for the team of one master and three disciples. The Arabic dial numbers 7 and 2 indicate Monkey King’s seventy-two metamorphoses. The positions of numbers 10 and 8 imaginatively imply the Monkey King and his master and two others successfully to get the scripture from the Western Heave that spans a distance of 108,000 li (a Chinese distance measure and 108,000 li is equivalent to approximately 54,000km). The golden crown ornamented with mark “H” is also very ingenious. When pulling the crown up to adjust the time, the wearer resembles the Monkey King picking his golden cudgel out of his ear.

The 41mm case has a bezel decorated by 6 of Hublot’s symbolic H-shaped titanium screws. Owing to the bold and smart fusion of rose pink, Chinese red and dark blue, the three models of classic monkey artistic watch are colorful and pleasant. The case and bezel of each model are made of different materials. Black ceramic is applied to the rose pink model, titanium to the dark blue one, and gold to the Chinese red one. Meanwhile, each model is fitted with natural rubber lined alligator skin strap with the same color for comfortable wearing and flexibility. Yue Minjun’s signature is printed on the caseback. The collectible rose pink and dark blue limited edition collections respectively contain 72 watches, suggesting Monkey King’s seventy-two metamorphoses. The Chinese red limited edition collection contains 12 watches as a tribute to the traditional cycle of 12 years in the Chinese lunar calendar.