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June 17, 2016

A Peek Into Audemars Piguet’s Innovative Lounges At Art Basel

Text by Huzan Tata. Images courtesy Audemars Piguet.

With a strong commitment to aesthetics, luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet’s annual Art Basel lounges raise a toast to originality

Some chronometers go beyond the conventional, and are avant-garde masterpieces in their own right. And, luxury haute horlogerie brand Audemars Piguet is a testament to this. In an endeavour to encourage inventiveness, the watchmaker has, since the past four years, partnered with Art Basel for their lounges and commissioned works. The global fair takes place in Hong Kong, Basel and Miami every year.

“We have long shared affinities with the art world, including our emphasis on artistry and innovation. When the opportunity to partner with Art Basel arose, we knew it was the perfect moment and the perfect association for us,” says Olivier Audemars, vice chairman of the company’s board of directors. The brand, known for their precision,
calls on a new designer each year to interpret their legacy for the lounge. This year’s parlour — unveiled at the Hong Kong edition — has been conceptualised by Chile-born New York-based artist Sebastian Errazuriz, who elucidates the essence of Audemars Piguet through the theme ‘Water and Ice’. “We invite the designers to the Jura mountains in Le Brassus where our maison is based, so that they are able to understand and capture the timeless spirit of Audemars Piguet’s home,” explains Olivier.

In their goal to promote creative flair, the Audemars Piguet Art Commission also supports artists to create ‘works of exceptional complexity, precision and experiential impact’. This year’s commissioned opus by Sun Xun, one of China’s most gifted young talents, promises to be a winning combination of meticulous skill and stylistic experimentation. Made in collaboration with guest curator Ruijun Shen, the installation will be on view at the Miami edition this December.

Audemars Piguet has supported a wide range of techniques, as seen in the 2013 lounge that featured images by English photographer Dan Holdsworth, the 2014 edition that integrated a specially commissioned panoramic film by Austrian videographer Kurt Hentschläger, and last year’s eco-wall of moss that was combined with a sound installation, Wild Constellations. “We hope to engage with art enthusiasts at the fair. Our objective is to express our commitment to creativity and passionate craftsmanship,” concludes Olivier, on the association with the event.

Check out the making of this year’s lounge with Sebastian Errazuriz here:

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