Absolut Taps Chinese Culture, Contemporary Art For “72变” Ltd. Edition

Bottle Edition, Limited To Run Of 350,000 Bottles, Designed By Young Chinese Pop Artist Gao Yu

Absolute 72变, designed by Gao Yu (Image courtesy Absolut)

Absolute 72变, designed by Gao Yu (Image courtesy Absolut)

Over the past year, we’ve seen a wave of China-only limited editions from major fashion houses, jewelers and automakers, some of which were designed in-house and some of which tapped Chinese artists for the job. However, with the buying power of young, middle-class urban Chinese professionals — as well as their thirst for imported spirits — growing, we’ve also seen China-only bottles from spirits makers like Chivas Regal, Grand Marnier, and now Absolut, which collaborated with the young Chinese pop artist Gao Yu on an edition of 350,000 bottles that will become available in China this August.

Though the contents of the bottles remains the same, Absolut’s Gao Yu-designed “72变” (72 bian, or “72 transformations”) bottles display a compelling mixture of ancient Chinese culture and the contemporary renaissance most clearly visible in cities like Shanghai and Beijing. Yu’s bottle design features a heavily stylized illustration of Sun Wukong — better known outside of China as “The Monkey King” from the epic Chinese novel Journey to the West (西遊記) — and the “72 transformations” of which Sun is capable are alluded to in the edition’s name.

(h/t Popsop, Luxuo)

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Art & Auction, Culture