Maison Hennessy is celebrating the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Ox with limited edition XO and VSOP Cognacs and “SPRING,” a specially commissioned artwork, all designed by renowned Chinese contemporary artist Liu Wei.
Coming on the heels of a particularly challenging time, the Year of the Ox is traditionally associated with openness, talent and confidence. In that spirit, the Maison Hennessy granted Liu Wei carte blanche to herald an auspicious period that carries the promise of hope, togetherness and bright horizons in addition to a design for its special Lunar New Year editions of the Hennessy collection. In its annual cultural celebration of the Chinese New Year, Hennessy reaffirms its inherent values of constancy and dedication to craft through special edition artistic collaborations. It found a kindred spirit in Liu Wei, whose dynamic, abstract painting “SPRING” brims with color, movement, and a sense of transformation.
The emotional resonance of the piece, which was designed to remain open to individual interpretation, is rooted in a constant quest for what the Beijing-based artist calls “a certain kind of beauty within a world of possibility.” That quest mirrors the time-honored savoir-faire Hennessy Master Blenders draw upon to craft exceptional cognacs, generation after generation.
“In cognac-making, there is space for infinite imagination. It’s about exploring the unknown and taking nothing for granted,” says Liu Wei.
The iconic Cognac house’s storied history and its technique of assemblage fascinated and impressed the artist when he first visited Cognac. From the surrounding vineyards to the distilleries and the Founder’s Cellar, the rhythm of life at Maison Hennessy is always guided by the present, and informed by a unique heritage of questioning, exploring and perfecting a craft.
“Cognac-making is an art because discerning aromas and flavors also depends on emotions. There is space for infinite imagination,” observes Liu Wei. “This cognac-making is limitless, it’s about exploring the unknown and taking nothing for granted.”
“Maison Hennessy is sort of a culture unto itself. In Cognac, I realized how much time and patience it requires to craft a barrel or perfect a blend. In a world where so many people work like machines, Maison Hennessy focuses on the excellence of the gesture. We both bring the world’s beauty to life through art: what we create is a contemporary expression of emotion,” says Liu Wei.
For Hennessy, Liu Wei conceived “SPRING” as a sensorial invitation to experience the season of rebirth through an almost kaleidoscopic painting that imparts a feeling of joy. A visual echo to the depth of Hennessy cognacs, the painting appears spontaneous and organic; its vibrant shades of fuchsia, blue, green and yellow buoy the spirit. The artist’s choice of medium – like his recurring shapes – is the fruit of reflection and resistance, a gesture of self-expression and a creative metaphor for the many directions one may choose to take in life.