Art events in Asia: Cheng Ran’s ‘Circadian Rhythm’ presented by Audemars Piguet at Art Basel Hong Kong 2017
Trust the Swiss manufacturer to commission another artwork depicting its watchmaking heritage, marking the watchmaker and Cheng’s second collaboration
‘Circadian Rhythm’ by Cheng Ran, will be presented by Audemars Piguet at the Collectors Lounge at Art Basel Hong Kong. Since 2013, Audemars Piguet has invited artists to conceptualise original works based on the brand’s story to present at all three Art Basel shows in Hong Kong, Basel and Miami. The list includes British photographer Dan Holdsworth, French art duo Kolkoz, Austrian videographer Kurt Hentschläger and Geneva-based artist Alexandre Joly, and Chinese artist Cheng Ran joining the ranks with the latest commission.
Cheng, born in 1981 in Inner Mongolia, is known for his video artworks that are informed by both Chinese and Western culture. As an artist who frequently explores time and space in his artistic practice, he was a natural choice for the project with Audemars Piguet. Cheng’s recent solo exhibitions include ‘In Course of the Miraculous’ at the K11 Art Foundation in Hong Kong in 2016, and his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, ‘Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman’ at the New Museum, co-presented with K11 Art Foundation, following a three-month residency.
For the latest Audemars Piguet commission, Cheng has taken inspiration from the beautiful landscape of Vallée du Joux, home to Audemars Piguet, where its precision timepieces are crafted. In an immersive video installation, the artist shows off the area’s verdant forest and gentle streams, set against an intricate soundscape of the peaceful Swiss Jura Mountains blending harmoniously with the precise mechanical ticks from the complicated mechanisms of Audemars Piguet watches.
Speaking about his concept, Cheng says, “I was inspired by the artistry and attention to detail Audemars Piguet dedicates to creating one single timepiece”. He adds, “I hope viewers will enjoy the immersive excursion I have created through landscapes and soundscapes, transporting them through experimental types of media. I am thankful to have been given the chance to continue my journey with Audemars Piguet since the piece was presented in Shanghai at the end of last year.” The work was first presented at Yuz Museum at the end of 2016 in the Audemars Piguet watch history exhibition, ‘To Break the Rules, You Must First Master Them’.
The pairing of Audemars Piguet watches with Cheng Ran’s work will be a visual and auditory treat for VIP guests at the art fair. “Audemars Piguet has pushed watchmaking boundaries ever since it was founded in 1875, a characteristic that is also fundamental to the production of great art,” says Olivier Audemars, Vice President of the Board of Directors of Audemars Piguet. “Through his video Cheng Ran reflects on the very heart of our craft and our connection to nature while managing to take the viewer on an unexpected journey. ‘Circadian Rhythm’ combines both art and watchmaking into a single pulse, like two hearts beating in unison”.
Art Republik looks forward to the Audemars Piguet presentation of Cheng’s work at Art Basel Hong Kong.
This article was originally published in Art Republik 14.