To celebrate the 2012-2013 cycle of its philanthropic Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, luxury watchmaker Rolex held a ceremony at Venice’s Teatro La Fenice on October 21, marking another successful year of the global program that pairs emerging talents with artistic masters from across the globe.
Nearly 500 guests gathered at the renowned opera house to honor the mentors and young protégés for the 2012-2013 iteration of the initiative, which sponsors yearlong creative collaboration pairs in the artistic fields of dance, film, literature, music, theater, visual arts, and architecture. The program is now over a decade old after its establishment in 2002.
At the event, participants had the chance to discuss their life-changing year of experience, which gave the protégés the opportunity to travel across the world for in-depth training from the world’s creative masters.
As a worldwide program, the initiative often selects Chinese participants. Over the past year, Taiwanese dancer and choreographer Lin Hwai-min (林懷民) served as a mentor in the dance category, and Chinese protégé Yang Zhao was mentored in the field of architecture by renowned architect Kazuyo Sejima.
Lin worked with young Brazilian dancer Eduardo Fukushima in Taiwan, where Fukushima traveled to receive his training and took courses in ballet, yoga, tai chi dao yin (a Chinese breathing technique), and martial arts.
Meanwhile, Zhao spent his year working with Kazuyo Sejima on her Kesennuma Home-for-All program, an initiative launched to build gathering places along Japan’s eastern coastline to aid communities devastated by the Tsunami. “I am very happy with the result,” Zhao said after the ceremony. “The locals are very happy too. I can read from their faces that this is a home to be lived in by all and loved by all.”
For the 2010-2011 cycle, legendary Chinese director Zhang Yimou (张艺谋) served as a program mentor in the film category, and for 2002 to 2003, Tibetan-Chinese choreographer Sang Jijia studied dance under William Forsythe. These figures join an elite global group: additional past mentors include Toni Morrison, Martin Scorsese, and Sir Peter Hall.
This post has been sponsored by Rolex.