China Hotels Get Artsy: Radisson Goes Graffiti, Hats Off At InterContinental

Radisson Blu To Revive Memory Of Moganshan Lu Graffiti Wall

Graffiti Art Christmas at the Radisson Blu

Graffiti Art Christmas at the Radisson Blu

Five-star hotels in China have sought to portray themselves as plugged-in to the country’s booming contemporary art scene over the past several years, filling rooms and galleries with large-scale pieces and even mounting fairly impressive exhibitions in some cases. While not every hotel has gone as far as the Opposite House or the Grace Beijing in promoting themselves as “art hotels,” this summer, Langham Place held a cuisine-and-art “Feast” at its Beijing Capital International Airport location, featuring work by six young Chinese artists, and last year Le Meridien invited Yan Lei and Chen Wenbo to become the first Chinese artists to join the exclusive “LM100″ creative community.

Soon, Shanghai’s Radisson Blu Hotel Pudong Century Park will become the latest to mount an arts exhibition with its upcoming “Graffiti Art” campaign. According to the hotel, the motivation behind the campaign comes from the impending demolition of Shanghai’s famed Moganshan Lu graffiti wall. Providing “artists who are wandering around the city [looking] for a new ‘Moganshan Lu'” a place to work, the hotel will invite graffiti practitioners, starting with the French artist Paul Conquerel, with exhibition space in the parking area. As the holiday season approaches, the Radisson Blu will launch the second part of its graffiti art campaign, “Graffiti Art Christmas,” which will include a “village” of small wooden huts decorated with Christmas-themed graffiti. Guests will be able to rent out huts in the Christmas village for parties or dinners. While we’re expecting the graffiti at the Radisson to be more Disneyland than South Bronx, this new campaign — timed to coincide with the demolition of the Moganshan Lu graffiti wall — is smart.

Hat inspired by waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan province (Photo: InterContinental)

Hat inspired by waterfalls in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan province

While the Radisson Blu is attempting to go local for its new art campaign, the InterContinental is going national. This week, the hotelier debuted its “Museum in a Hat” exhibition, featuring hats designed by Beijing-based milliner Elisabeth Koch, inspired by InterContinental locations in Chengdu, Beijing, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Shijiazhuang, Jiuzhaigou and Suzhou. As CNNGo writes, beyond being fun to look at, the hats are made to carry a sort of message:

[The] theatrical headpieces were presented yesterday at a runway show, named “Museum in a Hat,” in Shanghai Xintiandi.

The catwalk is a part of InterContinental’s Responsible Business Week, starting in China from October 26. Themed “Preserving City Memories,” the week is the company’s global initiative to sustain and enhance local destinations.

“We want to tell people that we need to take actions to protect, preserve and cherish the unique cultural traits and heritage of the places we are living in and traveling to,” said Keith Barr, CEO of IHG Greater China.

“Otherwise, we and our offspring will one day only be able to see them in museums.”

All of Koch’s hats will go on a national tour, hitting all of InterContinental’s 22 China hotels starting in November. Following the tour, the hotelier is expected to put the hats up for online auction.



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