guangzhou: culture chanel

© chanel / photography: jonathan leijonhufvud - the spectacular guangzhou opera house

as china's gentrification is soaring ahead and the masses savvy up on trophy goods, foreign brands feel the need to step up their game with high-profile events to emphasize their unique selling points in the planet's leading luxury market. french fashion house chanel does so by delving into the personal history of its founder coco chanel, and shed light on her circle of groundbreaking artist friends which included people like pablo picasso, jean cocteau and amedeo modigliani, and all of whom made an impact on 20th century art. curator jean-louis froment has created the first edition of a series of chanel-branded cultural showcases that's currently on at the guangzhou opera house, a spectacular building in undulating concrete, steel and glass by london-based architect zaha hadid. dubbed culture chanel, this exhibition is centered around picasso's biggest paint job: le train bleu. the expansive stage backdrop was painted in 1924 by picasso for his friend sergei diaghilev, artistic director of ballets russes, who used it for an eponymous choreography. presented are no less than 400 works, including photographs, drawings, paintings, manuscripts, books and films. cleverly blended into this prestigious cultural equation is a series of chanel's fashion creations by both the legendary coco and its current designer karl lagerfeld [on through mar 3]. location: 1 zhujiang xi lu [tianhe]. 

© chanel / photography: jonathan leijonhufvud - picasso's le train bleu, exhibition set-up, curator jean-louis froment