Rosewood Beijing’s Curated Art Collection Reflects Brand’s Rosewood A Sense of Place® Concept

January 6, 2017

Rosewood Beijing’s guests are invited on a journey of discovery which reinforces the Rosewood brand’s A Sense of Place® philosophy through a comprehensive art program.  Echoing the concept of life as a living canvas, the curated collection connects guests to the city’s personality and traditions. 

Each piece in Rosewood Beijing was chosen to communicate the spirit of the location and guide the guest’s journey through the hotel.  In Rosewood Beijing’s public areas and function rooms, the selected artwork conveys a sense of awe and presence, enhancing the spaces with an imposing grandeur and gravitas. 

The public spaces also feature artistic representations of Beijing monuments, prompting guests to reconsider the city’s famous landmarks from a fresh perspective.  The concept is extended to the lift lobbies, where a unique Beijing landmark, ancient or modern, is represented in each of the spaces.

As guests continue their journey into the central lobby, they discover towering paintings inspired by the traditional shan shui landscape paintings that have their origins in the Song dynasty (960-1279) Above the soaring shan shui mountainscapes is calligraphy that pays tribute to the late Qi Baishi’s iconic 1946 ink painting A Long Life, a Peaceful World, and combines traditional painting and calligraphy. 

In Manor Club, the executive lounge, a prevalence of calligraphy and intricate pen drawings conveys scholarly pursuits while the spa presents abstract works and organic forms to evoke a sense of calm.  Similarly, the gym emphasises paintings of heightened physicality and vibrancy to inspire a sense of energy and power.

“The art works have a direct connection to the space they inhabit,” notes Emily de Wolfe Pettit, Rosewood Beijing’s art consultant and founder of Beijing-based Peking Art Associates.  “While the art in the public areas is large in scale and celebrates Beijing’s communal landmarks, the pieces in guestrooms are intended as more intimate journeys into private realms of imagination.  These works invite the visitor to inspect, to read an extract of a poem or simply appreciate the fluidity of an ink wash on fine rice paper.”

Guestrooms are also distinguished by original cloisonné paintings and fine art prints.  Featuring reinterpretations of traditional Chinese symbols – a coral garden, the auspicious dragon, ying and yang constellation – selected cloisonné paintings are paired with the artist’s original sketches and calligraphic descriptions printed on xuan paper.  Enhancing the guest journey, the combination provides guests with added insight into the artistic process.

 “The represented artists strip away the superficial layers to find the deeper signifiers of a culture, entrenched behaviour and customs,” says Emily de Wolfe Pettit.  “For Rosewood Beijing, what is ancient becomes contemporary and what is contemporary becomes timeless.”

The collection features Beijing-based artists and showcases works from both emerging and established talents.  Rosewood Beijing’s wide-ranging art portfolio is comprised of ink-brush paintings and photographs, mixed-media pieces as well as sculptures crafted from bronze, wood and steel.

The Rosewood Beijing art programme is intended to nurture new talent and support many artists who are forging their careers and carving out a name for themselves through exhibitions in China and globally.

Artists’ Impressions

Artists represented include Li Yongfei who, exemplifying the ancient Chinese literati spirit, is a highly skilled calligrapher, painter and poet.  Combining historic and modern influences, his work often features an intriguing blend of traditional motifs, mythical heroes and Warhol-inspired figures.  Yongfei’s work appears in Rosewood Beijing’s pre-function area in a monumental grouping of scrolls each twenty-five metres in length.  Inspired by the epic Survey of the Mountains and the Oceans that pre-dates the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC), the scrolls reveal the artist’s imaginative flair and skill.

Inner Mongolian-born Jiang Shanchun, whose work spans an impressive range of styles and media and are included in the permanent collection of the National Art Museum of China, uses traditional techniques to depict contemporary subjects or abstract themes.  Jiang Shanchun’s watercolour portraits adorn the entrance to Rosewood Beijing’s Bistrot B and continue over two floors of the hotel.  Painted from live models throughout China, the portraits highlight the country’s rich diversity.

Sculptor and installation artist Song Jianshu contributed various sculptures for Rosewood Beijing’s dining areas.  Together with his colleague Li Yuanchen, Jianshu sculpted the two monumental guardians that flank the hotel entrance. Reinterpreting the traditional Jiao Tu, or “Son of Dragon” symbol of guardianship, the imposing figures feature clean, elongated lines and rugged bronze exteriors.

Represented in the Collection of the British Museum, Meng Liping moves effortlessly between the worlds of ink, oil painting, collage and mixed media.  Liping’s artistic interests are revealed in printed scenes from her 2011- 2012 oil on canvas triptych, Hemisphere, inside the hotel’s RED BOWL hot pot restaurant.  The auspicious Chinese symbol of the dragon, and doves and lotus, Eastern and Western symbols of peace, intertwine in a work executed in the style and colour spectrum of the Chinese folklore puppets of the Tang dynasty.

World renowned Irish calligraphy artist, Denis Brown contributed a major piece to Rosewood Beijing’s Reception area.  Based on Rose of Time, a poem by contemporary Chinese poet, Bei Dao, the multi-media calligraphic piece is a collaboration between Brown and local calligrapher, Ma Tianbo featuring gold leaf, copper wire and etched acrylic.  Brown’s work is also displayed in The House of Dynasties, Chinese private dining areas where the chrysanthemum flower, symbol of nobility and one of the four symbolic seasonal flowers in Chinese custom, forms the background to layers of calligraphy etched on acrylic panels.

Eclectic and engaging, the artwork reinforces Rosewood’s commitment to instilling every property with A Sense of Place®.  Representing traditional and contemporary techniques and artforms, each piece reveals a chapter from China’s distant past from a fresh perspective. 

“In building the Rosewood collection, our artistic journey reveals the many diverse elements of Beijing, a city that is home to thousands of artists and has a history of artistic endeavour and enterprise,” explains Rosewood Beijing Area Managing Director Marc Handl.  “The art programme presents Chinese cultural legacies and traditional artistic practices, but revitalised and reinterpreted for contemporary audiences.”

About Rosewood Beijing

The 282-room ultra-luxury Rosewood Beijing, located in the Chaoyang District opposite the iconic CCTV Tower, is the first China property for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts®.  The hotel features six restaurants and lounges including Bistrot B and Bistrot B Lounge • Bar, RED BOWL stylish hot pot restaurant, MEI bar, Country Kitchen and The House of Dynasties Chinese restaurant.  Meeting and function space, totaling 2,620 square metres, includes a pillar-less ballroom and the Pavilion residential-style event venue.  The first Rosewood Sense spa in Asia features an indoor swimming pool, gym and yoga studio.  Also debuting is the Manor Club, Rosewood’s sophisticated, exclusive access executive lounge.

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