Mandopop icon Jay Chou fuses art and entertainment

Mandopop icon Jay Chou fuses art and entertainment

Mandopop star and art collector Jay Chou takes the curatorial reins of Sotheby’s inaugural Contemporary Curated auction series in Asia, transforming K11 into an art-studded film set

Jay Chou, the Taiwanese singer-songwriter dubbed the ‘king of Mandopop’ has fingers in many creative pies. Aside from his Mandopop megastar status (cemented by having sold over 30 million records), he is also an actor, classically-trained pianist, film director, Netflix host, rapper, magician and art collector. 

Adding yet another string to his bow, he has collaborated with Sotheby’s, Enviseam and the K11 group to curate an exhibition and two auctions in Hong Kong in a potent fusion of fine art and entertainment.

At K11, Hong Kong’s ultimate culture-meets-retail destination, a two-part exhibition, on public view until 18 June 2021, sees the spaces transformed into an environment that resembles scenes from era- and genre-spanning film sets. ‘In this collaboration, I have directed a set design for the auction preview to bring people back to the times when these works were created,’ says Chou. ‘Audiences will not just be looking at the paintings, but experiencing the paintings as being part of their space and time.’

Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup series, exhibiting in set simulating a grocery store at K11Atelier

At K11 Musea, visitors will encounter an ornate antique piano featured in Secret (2007) the movie that starred Jay Chou and also marked his directorial debut. Elsewhere are three sets of bespoke concert costumes worn by Jay Chou during his ‘The Invincible’ world tour, with sales proceeds going to charity. Over at the K11 Atelier, more than 50 artworks from the evening sale and online day sale will be on view – as one might imagine, it’s not short of showstoppers.

‘It is a unique experience that unites entertainment and fine art, presented by cultural leaders from different fields. My mission is to continue to provide unique art and cultural experience for communities throughout the world that spark creativity and inspiration, the collaboration with Jay and Sotheby’s is a wonderful example of that.’ says Adrian Cheng, founder of K11, and erstwhile Wallpaper* Design Awards judge.

Jay Chou’s concert costumes, on show at K11 Musea

Artwork headliners include Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled, which became cover star of The New York Times Magazine in February 1985. Visitors can also find Frank Stella’s trippy Untitled (Double Concentric Square) (1978), Yukimasa Ida’s new work, King of Rock, and Yayoi Kusama’s painting, Pumpkin (1992) in bold purple, and, perhaps naturally, a tribute to Pop Art in the form of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup I, staged in its own dedicated ‘grocery store’. Other featured artists in Chou’s curation include Richard Prince, Adrian Ghenie, Loie Hollowell and Takashi Murakami. 

So who is Chou’s favourite artist? Followed closely by Jean-Michel Basquiat, it’s the musician’s mother Yei Hui-Mei – an art teacher, painter and sculptor to whom he attributes his lifelong passion for art. In a recent conversation with Sotheby’s, Chou recalled that his mother favoured Dali over Picasso because ‘Dali was more loyal to his lover’. §

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