CHANEL's art journey has begun. First stop, HONG KONG

published in: Architecture By Costas Voyatzis, 04 March 2008

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MOBILE ART is a traveling exhibition devised as a three-dimensional film and presented in a futuristic pavilion specially created by the architect Zaha Hadid.

The creative concept of MOBILE ART is the result of an aesthetic experiment conducted over the last two years in which the values and visual language of CHANEL confronted those of some twenty contemporary artists from all geographic and generational origins.

Invited to visit Mademoiselle Chanel’s Parisian apartment, rue Cambon, and the workshops where the CHANEL handbags are made, these artists were given complete freedom to create artworks inspired by the elements that create the identity of CHANEL’s emblematic accessory, the quilted bag.

All means of expression currently being used in contemporary art will be represented: installation, sculpture, photography, video, sound etc…

MOBILE ART is not so much an exhibition to be visited as a landscape to wander through in a completely new way: to experience the artists’ installations, visitors equipped with a MP3 player must let themselves be guided mentally and physically by a soundtrack created by the label “Soundwalk” in collaboration with each of the artists. This soundtrack mixes the original music of a diverse range of artists with voice and ambient sound effects.

MOBILE ART is above all a new form of artistic expression, an unique experience, combining architecture, art, sound creation and fashion.

For more information, please visit

Star Ferry Car Park – Central, Hong Kong

27 February – 5 April, 2008

for tickets visit Hong Kong Ticketing

the following text is written by Julia Tanski for Herald Tribune

If you wanted a venue to start a traveling art exhibition that was transported in cargo containers and paid homage to a handbag, you couldn’t do much better than Hong Kong.

Of the 3 million-plus cargo containers offloaded onto the city’s docks this year, 56 carried a snap-together mobile gallery that will tour the world showing works inspired by Chanel’s padded bag. “Mobile Art” gathers the works of some 20 artists, including Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki and Yoko Ono, widow of slain Beatle John Lennon, in a flying-saucer-shaped pavilion designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid.

When Hadid and Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel got together to realize their dream of a traveling museum, they named Fabrice Bousteau, editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts magazine, as the curator.

“It’s a sort of UFO that lands for a number of weeks in the middle of some of the largest cities in Asia, the U.S. and Europe,” said Bousteau, in a statement from Chanel.

The exhibition runs from Feb. 27 through April 5 in Hong Kong, a mecca of shipping and shopping, before moving to Tokyo, New York, London, Moscow and finally Paris in 2010.

The artists were told to base their creation on the best-selling Chanel quilt bag, called 2.55 after its month and year of issue.

After the French artist Sophie Calle received Chanel’s commission, she advertised in a Japanese magazine in the fall of 2006 seeking an artist to carry out her project. She wanted to stop passersby, tell them to empty their bags, and offer to buy both contents and carrier. Soju Tao signed up, and the result of this collaboration will be shown at theAraki, known for his erotic photographs, will put up a slide show “The Dance of the Seven Veils,” depicting the image of a young woman untangling herself of Chanel bag chains transposed against languid, close-up shots of poisonous flowers. Music by Fumio Yasuda and vocals by Aki accompany the exhibit.

Paying homage to Coco Chanel, founder of the fashion house, South Korea’s Lee Bul builds a plastic sculpture, lit from the inside, and crowned with hundreds of re-assembled bags and chains.

Visitors will be guided through the tunnels in the exhibition hall with an iPod presentation by Stephan Crasneanscki, a French photographer and sound artist who works under the title Soundwalk.

Subodh Gupta has a video installation in two parts called “All Things Are Inside,” reflections on people in transit and their aspirations, such as the life of an Indian laborer who returns from prosperous Dubai where he packed gifts.

Near the end of the tunnel lies Ono’s “Wish Tree,” where visitors may write a wish on a piece of rice paper and tie it to the branches of a tree, which will be collected and sent to the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, Iceland, a tribute to Lennon based on his peace anthem, “Imagine.”

Ono, a veteran at mixing social, political and corporal elements into her performances, will participate alongside Tabaimo, a 32-year-old Japanese video artist who exhibited her “Doll House” installation at the 2007 Venice Biennale.

Personal fantasies and visions of the world are celebrated in the work of photographic duo Pierre & Gilles. Italian Loris Cecchini, on the other hand, distorts reality physically and visually - from cinema chairs that crumble into themselves to optical illusions of people climbing up buildings.

Other artists at the show include the U.S. photographer Stephen Shore of Andy Warhol’s The Factory fame, whose images highlight social issues; fellow American David Levinthal; Russia’s Blue Noses; Sylvie Fleury of Switzerland; Y.Z. Kami from Iran; and Argentina’s Leandro Erlich.


HONG KONG , February 2008

NEW YORK, September 2008

LONDON, June 2009

MOSCOW, September 2009

PARIS , January 2010

ATHENS, “visit us..please!!!” from yatzer to Chanel’s art container

Here are some more images that I’ve found in a simple gallery


+ images from Lydia’s flickr, Chanel Mobile Art , dezain

postscript | Karl meets Zaha

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Hadid Zaha

About Zaha Hadid

photo © Gautier Deblonde

Zaha Hadid, founding partner of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her dynamic and innovative projects builds on over thirty years of revolutionary experimentation and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design.
Working with senior office partner Patrik Schumacher, Hadid’s interest is in the rigorous interface between architecture, landscape, and geology as the practice integrates natural topography and human-made systems that lead to experimentation with cutting-edge technologies. Such a process often results in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.
The MAXXI: National Museum of 21st Century Art in Rome, BMW Central Building in Leipzig and Phaeno Science Center in Wolfsburg are excellent demonstrations of the practice’s quest for complex, dynamic space. Previous seminal buildings, such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati and Hoenheim-Nord Terminus in Strasbourg have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our vision of the future with new spatial concepts and bold, visionary forms.
Currently, the practice is working on a multitude of projects including; the Fiera di Milano master-plan and tower, the Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games, High-Speed Train Stations in Naples and Durango, the CMA CGM Head Office tower in Marseille and urban master-plans in Beijing, Bilbao, Istanbul, Singapore and the Middle East.
Zaha Hadid Architects continues to be a global leader in pioneering research and design investigation. Collaborations with artists, designers, engineers and clients that lead their industries have advanced the practice’s diversity and knowledge, whilst the implementation of state-of-the-art technologies have aided the realization of fluid, dynamic and therefore complex architectural structures.
Zaha Hadid’s work was the subject of a critically-acclaimed retrospective exhibition at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2006 and showcased at London’s Design Museum in 2007. Hadid’s recently completed projects include the Nordpark Railway stations in Innsbruck, Mobile Art for Chanel in Hong Kong, Tokyo and New York, the Zaragoza Bridge Pavilion in Spain and the Burnham Pavilion in Chicago.

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