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Audemars Piguet, one of the few remaining significant and historic independent Swiss-watch brands, presented its new exhibition at the Yuz Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai. The exhibition, titled “To Break the Rules, You Must First Master Them,” began on October 28 and will run through November 13.
The exhibit installation was conceived by award-winning French designer Mathieu Lehanneur and is complemented by works from renowned artists including Cheng Ran, a Chinese new-media and video artist.
Mathieu Lehanneur calls the highly architectural pavilion as ‘the ring’, and it is comprised of a large-scale 4m high copper ring into which visitors are invited to explore the history of the Audemars Piguet watch brand.
An immense copper-finished ring surrounding rocks made from resin and fiberglass-molding casts of boulders found in Audemars Piguet’s hometown, Le Brassus, in Switzerland’s Vallée de Joux. Within the ring are 12 “rooms” housing some 200 vintage and contemporary timepieces curated by Sébastian Vivas, the director of AP’s company museum. It’s the largest collection of AP watches ever shown outside that facility.
The structure’s exterior is coated in copper, providing a sense of mystery and awe while the interior offers a series of themed rooms that exhibit a close-up experience of the iconic swiss brand. Two hundred timepieces — both vintage and contemporary — will be shown, resulting in the largest Audermars Piguet collection ever to be exhibited outside its own museum.
This is not the first time Lehanneur and the luxury brand work together. The designer previously developed a signature lounge at ArtBasel: Hong Kong in 2014 — where the Vallée de Joux boulders on view here made their China debut. “This exhibition is a reflection on time,” Lehanneur says. “A dreamy vision of time where each instant differs from the previous one. Here every door opens onto a new story.”
From Shanghai, the exhibition will move on to several other global cultural capitals.