Posts Tagged ‘ China ’

The Beauty of China’s Rice Field Terraces


French photographer Thierry Bornier captures breathtaking landscape photos that highlight the rich splendor of China’s mountains, rivers, and rice field terraces. From the highest vantage point he can climb up to, he points his camera downwards and waits for weather and lighting conditions that are just right before he releases the shutter. His precise care and endless patience pay off, as evidenced by his stunning aerial shots that are filled with vibrant colors, incredible atmosphere, and intriguing hints of storytelling.

Looking at his dazzling images, it’s surprising to learn that Bornier is entirely self-taught when it comes to photography. With an MBA in finance, he spent most of his career working as the Chief Financial Officer for an international fashion company in New York. He ended up in China by chance when he was transferred there by his company eight years ago, but he soon found himself captivated by the land and the culture.

After a photo he had taken (just out of personal interest) was featured as National Geographic’s “Picture of the Day” in 2010, Bornier decided to leave his steady finance job and follow his passion for photography. He told us in an email, “I always felt that I wanted to do something more creative and artistic than finance and accounting, so I made up my mind, bought a new camera, and started to shoot anything in order to understand the concept of photography. Step by step, I improved my skills.” Since then, Bornier taught himself studio photography and has built a career shooting celebrities, fashion spreads, and advertising campaigns in China. These jobs allow him to continue doing what he loves best: venturing into the countryside to photograph spectacular nature scenes as well as local people.

The Yunnan-based photographer gave us some insight on how he captures images that are so gorgeously vivid, they’re almost surreal. Scroll down to read the key elements that go into his work.

STORY

All places I choose to capture must have a story to tell.

MOOD

I love fog and cloudy weather for some of my pictures because they give the place the feeling of a painting. I go during the right season, and sometimes I need to wait until I can capture the mood that I want. I don’t like to take photos of landscapes with a pure blue sky; that’s not my style at all.

LIGHT

The most important element of my photography is lighting. The beautiful landscape is there in front of you—nature did that for you, you didn’t have to do anything. So the next step is how to capture this beautiful landscape. In your mind, you must think through all the possible lighting scenarios and imagine what will create the best fine art photo. It’s that mental image.

SKY

The photographer should never be satisfied if the complete image can’t be captured perfectly. Let’s say your image includes the sky and clouds. I won’t just pay attention to what’s in my foreground and background because they can’t be changed, but the sky will always change from day to day. I consider the sky just as important as the rest of my image, so I will wait for the perfect sky in terms of lighting and clouds. The quality of the clouds is also very important in order to create a real three-dimensional look, making my images appear more like surreal landscapes.

SPIRIT

I believe each photographer should not only use what he sees, but he should also always use his heart and spirit to create something different. The picture is made with your heart, not your camera. Once you understand how to use your camera, I would advise you to focus more on learning how to use your eyes to read the beauty in front of you, and then using your heart to capture it.

To conclude, Bornier told us, “I guess the combination of all of these make my own style and my photos look very beautiful, almost surreal, or like Chinese paintings. But trust me, if you came to one of my workshops, you would see these amazing landscapes in real life because they actually exist and look so beautiful. China is a huge country and has many diverse landscapes. I always feel amazed by this beautiful country.”

David Beckham | Jaguar Ambassador For China


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Jaguar has announced soccer icon David Beckham will be joining the British manufacturer as a brand ambassador for China. Beckham will become the face of a high-profile marketing campaign, including print ads shot by renowned fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh. China is fast becoming Jaguar’s most important and competitive market and the choice of Beckham, arguably the most recognizable British star across the Asian continent. It’s not the Beckham family’s first brush with Jaguar Land Rover. In 2012, Victoria Beckham designed and launched in China a special limited edition Range Rover Evoque at the Beijing Motor Show.

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Savage Grace


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One of the stories of The 10th Anniversary issue of Vogue China all photographed exclusively by Mario Testino,features top Chinese model Liu Wen. She’s posing in super glam dresses and gowns styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele. In the images, Liu wears designs from the likes of Giorgio Armani, Kenneth Jay Lane, Anthony Vacarello and Burberry Prorsum while striking poses alongside a crocodile. Hair by Oribe, Makeup by Serge Hodonou.

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World’s Largest Ultra-High Definition TV


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Measuring 110 inches from corner to corner, Samsung’s latest ultra-high-definition television is the biggest of its kind and arrives just in time for the new year. Samsung promised that it would be launching a gargantuan 110-inch ultra-high-definition television and that it would be hitting the shelves before the end of the year. The TV, which measures 2.6 x 1.8 meters, officially went on sale in China, the Middle East and ‘select’ European territories.  Samsung’s set doesn’t come with precious stones but it does have gesture controls, voice controls, and Samsung’s “Smart Hub,” which gives you access to online content, photos, video, music, and apps. It also has a quad-core processor, and Samsung’s S-Recommendation service, which tracks your viewing habits and makes viewing recommendations over time.

Giorgio Armani Casa Luxury Residence


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Giorgio Armani’s interior design studio Armani / Casa has announced plans to work on its first Chinese luxury residential project in the city of Chengdu. L’Art Residence will be situated in the center of Chengdu and will consist of two 222–meter-high buildings, each containing 65 apartments. The fashion mogul’s brand will work in partnership with the Chinese cultural body Mind Group for the design and development of the project. Each apartment block will feature a heated rooftop swimming pool, whilst the living spaces themselves will be furnished with pieces from the Armani / Casa, Armani / Rocca and Armani / Dada ranges. The apartments will be sold in the second half of 2014. The development period is slated for 2016.

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Casio G-Shock 2013 Holiday “Blizzard White” Collection


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Casio‘s iconic G-Shock line offers a three-piece collection of seasonally apt new colorways for the coming winter holiday. The “Blizzard White” collection sees the GW-8900, GA-100 and GD-X6900 models brandished in stark white-grey with a matte finish — a military inspired choice as it’s originally used for snow terrain camouflage. The white-grey adorns the main bezel of the three, while further applications of military motifs are found on the faces with precise detailing down to the signature red star embellishments. As for functionality, the GW-8900 comes with a multi-band 6 station radio system covering China, US, UK, Germany and two Japan stations, while its Tough Solar program automatically re-calibrates for the accurate time. The GA-100 offers a 1/1000 second stopwatch function, speed measurement recording and maintains magnetic resistance, while the more basic GD-X6900 comes with G-Shock’s classic illuminating and 20bar water resistant perks.

Luxury Songjiang Hotel under Waterfall in China


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Atkins has won an international competition to design a five-star resort hotel set within a beautiful water-filled quarry in the Songjiang district close to Shanghai in China. Its stunning concept designs inspired by the natural water and landscape features of the quarry captured the imagination of judges to quash competition from two other international firms. The innovative design of 400-bed resort hotel stands two levels higher that the rock face of the 100 meter deep quarry and includes underwater public areas and guestrooms. It will incorporate conference facilities for up to 1,000 people, a banqueting centre, restaurants, cafes and sports facilities. Sustainability is integral to the design ranging from using green roofing for the structures above the ground level to geothermal energy extraction. An aquatic theme runs through the design both visually and functionality. Two underwater levels will house a restaurant and guestrooms facing a ten-meter deep aquarium. The lowest level of the hotel will contain a leisure complex with a swimming pool and water-based sports. An extreme sports centers for activities such as rock climbing and bungee jumping will be cantilevered over the quarry and accessed by special lifts from the water level of the hotel.

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Nike Zoom Hyperflight Premium “China” Pack


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Nike has unveiled its full lineup of Zoom Hyperflights paying homage to China’s three largest cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The “China” pack offers three distinctive designs, with “Beijing: Lion” featuring a golden-copper synthetic upper and intricate weave patterns. The “Shanghai: Shark” references the famed port city with a silver-tone upper and aqua accents. ” Guangzhou: Tiger” features an orange and black tiger-stripe pattern inspired by the city’s dominance as a trade and manufacturing hub. The pack has already launched in China and will launch globally in early August.

China Completes The Largest Building In The World


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It’s one of the superlatives destined for a record book: ‘what is the world’s largest building?’ a year ago the answer would have been dubai’s international airport terminal 3, but as of july 1st the new century global center in the fiercely-growing mega-city of Chengdu undoubtedly takes the title.  With 1.2 million square feet spread out over 18 stories in a glass and steel structure, the program includes what one might expect for a building of this scale: a 14-screen imax theater, shops, restaurants, offices, hotels, the reconstruction of an entire mediterranean village, an artificial beach with realistic sunsets and sea breezes orchestrated by the help of an LED wall (in a contemporary ‘truman show’ fashion). Also there is a 500,000 ft2 art center next door designed by none other than Zaha Hadid. To make some spatial comparisons, the building could comfortably house three pentagons or 20 sydney opera houses. It’s important to add as well that the entire structure was constructed in just a year, and stands as a testament to the will and ability of the chinese.

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Meet A Man Follows Girlfriend All Around The World


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What started as a photographer trying to capture as much as he could while traveling while his girlfriend pulled him along has now become an internet sensation. Russian producer Murad Osmann and his gorgeous girlfriend, Natalia Zakharova, have been traveling the world together for quite some time. Beginning in Barcelona in September of 2011, Osmann started labeling his Instagram photospictures “Follow me” where he takes beautiful pictures of his girlfriend pulling his arm through exotic and familiar locations around the world. In the small breaks between his busy work schedule, the jet-setting lovebirds have travelled to Singapore, Bali, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, England, and China and continue to document their journeys.

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013 Teaser


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After the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was released last February, the public couldn’t get enough of Kate Upton, the issue’s then-19-year-old cover model. Fast forward a year later and, well, the world still seems pretty Kate crazy. As for why Upton has been plucked from the usual tropical locales that typically serve as the backdrops of most of SI’s swimsuit shoots, this year the models and photographers traveled to all seven continents, including Antarctica, where the cover shoot took place (thus the parka). While one would imagine that readers are probably more interested in the scantily clad young models than the landscapes in the background, Sports Illustrated decided to travel the globe anyway.

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But before you get too hung up on Kate, there are plenty of other females with fabulous figures inside the mag as well. Lucky for you, Sports Illustrated has shared some of the sexy shots. Models Hannah Davis and Alyssa Miller, both 22, and the future Mrs. John Legend, 27-year-old Chrissy Teigen, didn’t make the cover, but their photo shoots were most likely much more enjoyable than Upton’s, as all three ladies look got to don their two-pieces in warmer climates, or at least warmer than the icy outdoors, where Upton was photographed. Teigen traveled to Easter Island, Chile, for her shoot; Miller was photographed in Great Barrier Reef, Australia; and rookie Davis had China as her background.

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Catch an closer look at this year Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2013 to see beautiful photos and videos from the SI Swimsuit 2013 issue in the video.

Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort


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Chinese-based Sheraton hotel chain is planning an aggressive expansion in 2013, opening 30 new branches in the Asia-pacific area and four in Africa and the Middle East and 15 alone will open in China within the year. The “Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort” is perhaps the most striking of this endeavor, designed by Beijing-based architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects. It could be described as horseshoe shaped, or maybe as a partially submerged bold serif-faced ‘O’, or even possibly a dipped elongated donut, but no matter how you describe it, the newly opened Sheraton Hushou Hot Spring Resort is not your average looking hotel.

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2 Elements – Air and Water


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In the village of Oslob in Philippines this video was able to film an amazing and unique underwater project to be the world’s first whale shark fashion shoot. They used a GoPro HD HERO3 Black Edition and HERO2 camera to film the base jumping and the underwater shoot as well. The base jumping was filmed in many beautiful locations like Switzerland,Italy, and China.

Audi R8 China Edition


Audi sticks with its habit to impresses us with elegant surprises. The Audi R8 has been around since 2006 but not like this one. This special edition Audi R8 has been unveiled just for Chinese Audi fan. Limited to only 30 units this extravagant model boasts of a cool Nordic gold exterior color,19” wheels accompanied by special Audi alloys finished in a titanium look. Furthermore the design has been enhanced with carbon fiber front spoiler, side-blades, flics, exterior mirrors, fixed rear wing and enlarged diffuser.

Under the hood this edition houses a 525hp R8 V10 capable of taking the ride from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and hits to the top speed of 316 km/h on meter. Apart from it, the R8 features Quattro permanent 4-wheel drive system with rear-biased setup. The list of exclusive features continue with an aluminum gear knob with printed limited edition numbers from 1-33 with the exception of the numbers 4, 14 and 24, because the Chinese people believe that those numbers are inauspicious.

Visually Stunning Store Concept In Shenzhen, China


Shanghai-based interior designers and architects Coordination Asia have completed a new breed of telecom stores named AER for AISIDI, one of China’s leading resellers of mobile and digital products and services. AER is a retail brand that offers customized mobile services in a playful, cool and customer-focused environment. The architects took on branding as well as VI and store design for AER. The first AER store has now opened in Shenzhen and new stores are planned to open China-wide soon.

Inspired by the growing importance of mobile Internet use in daily life in China, the firm created an out-of-the-box brand that turns the act of purchasing a mobile product into an active and fun experience. AER is based on a great understanding of mobile lifestyle, in which mobile devices keep you connected, entertained and updated through a variety of online and offline apps. The store layout of the commercial property has been designed as an interactive environment that caters to the needs of different target-customers: Trendy, Lifestyle and Tech Savvy. Products are thematically presented in combination with related accessories, apps and carriers on custom-made presentation tables with ‘serving trays’. Following a black runway from the entrance, customers find the App Bar where they can try out mobile apps on a large interactive screen. Painted pegboards are used to cover the walls of the store. This allows display shelves to be hung freely within the whole space and to be changed location at all times. The whole interior is flexible, so that changes in layout can be made quick and easily. The interior designers have created a concept that fits perfectly for the needs of mobile-minded customers, who are used-to ‘click and play’ and never want to be bored. The ever-changing store concept of AER will keep customers coming back, providing them with an exciting and new experience every time.

Ultraluxury Car Demand Won’t Grow In 2013.


Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said global demand for ultra-luxury sports cars will probably not increase next year. The main reasons for this are the European debt crisis and the slowing of China’s economy. “We are very cautious for next year. The Europe crisis is not over,” he said. To make up for the slowing sales in Europe and China, Lamborghini is now looking to expand in markets like Singapore and Hong Kong. The maker of the Aventador supercar also opened a second dealership in April in India, where the number of millionaires will more than double by 2015. The ultra-luxury unit of Volkswagen AG hasn’t made the decision whether to introduce an SUV, Winkelmann said. Lamborghini unveiled an SUV prototype — the Urus — at the Beijing car show this year.

Jumeirah Expands Presence In China With Ctrip Deal


The Jumeirah luxury hotels group has entered into a partnership with China’s online travel website, Ctrip, reported Travel Daily Media news website Sunday. The Global Direct Connectivity Partnership deal will soon allow Ctrip customers to make reservations more quickly for hotels under the Jumeirah umbrella. Ctrip is a leading one-stop China-based travel website that allows travelers to make reservations for hotels, air tickets and package tours. Special hotel offers, as well as a consumer contest, will be launched once work on the direct connectivity platform is completed. This deal makes the Jumeirah chain the first Middle Eastern hotel group to get a direct online connection with Ctrip. “It indeed strengthens our China development and enables us to engage more closely with our Chinese high-end customers,” Nicholas Clayton, chief operating officer of the Jumeirah Group, told the travel news website. Currently, the Jumeirah chain has one hotel in Shanghai: the Jumeirah Himalayas. The group is expected to open more hotels in China, including Jumeirah Guangzhou which is slated for an opening in late 2014, as well as other properties in the cities of Macau, Sanya and Hangzhou. The luxury hotel group revealed that the Chinese represent the group’s sixth largest market, and the most popular destinations in the Jumeirah portfolio for Chinese travelers are Dubai and the Maldives. The chain added that it is expecting a growth of 14 percent from the Chinese market to its worldwide portfolio in 2013.

The People’s Car Project.


The Volkswagen hover car is a product of the “People’s Car Project” in China, which called upon customers to contribute design ideas for VW’s model of the future.  The crowd-sourcing initiative debuted in China last year and, to date, has inspired 33 million website visitors to submit 119,000 ideas.  The hovercraft uses electromagnetic levitation to float along its own grid above the regular road network; distance sensors keep the craft from colliding with other vehicles.

The disc-shaped pod seats two people and is controlled by a joystick that offers amazing maneuverability. The car can move both back-and-forth and side-to-side and can even spin on an axis.  Automated safety features monitor the Hover Car’s surroundings and can take control if a potential accident is detected. The concept car produces zero emissions.

China’s Underground Hotel.


A few years ago, British engineering firm Atkins won the rights to design an extravagant hotel deep within a 100-metre pit in Shanghai‘s Songjiang District.  Construction on the Intercontinental Shimao Shanghai Wonderland finally commenced last month, and the hotel is scheduled to open in early 2015.

The 19-storey structure will be grafted onto the side of the 100-meter pit, with 16 floors burrowing down towards the deep quarry floor.  It will hold about 380 rooms which are expected to start at about $320 per night. The building will also feature an underwater restaurant.

A massive 60-meter tall glass curtain wall adjacent to the main structure will descend down the rockface in a manner that will “mimic a waterfall”, while the surrounding cliffs will be given over to bungee jumping and rockclimbing.

The Aston Martin Dragon 88.


Aston Martin, has announced that it will debut its China-focused “Dragon88″ line at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show, to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.  Available only for the Chinese market, 88 special “Dragon88″ models of the V8 Vantage S, Virage, and DBS will be made featuring some Chinese cultural references and iconography.

The Dragon88 models will be available in three color schemes: Champagne Gold, Volcano Red, and Amethyst Red. Each scheme representing a virtue like wealth and fortune, peace and protection, and “dragon fire.”  Inside, the cars will feature dragon embroidery inspired by the Nine Dragon Wall at Beihai park in Beijing. Other identifying features include special 10-spoke dragon edition alloy wheels, black brake calipers and a Bang and Olufsen sound system.

The Space Yacht.


We’ve talked about a few spaceship-looking yacht concepts here before, but this one from John Shuttleworth Yacht Designs takes the cake. Why? Well, because it’s not a concept (it’s actually being built in China for a couple from Hong Kong).  Dubbed Adastra, this super-yacht comes from 5 long years of design work. When it’s completed it will stretch 139-ft and cruise along at about 22.5 knots. There will be room for about 9 passengers and crew of up to 6. Pushing this spacecraft through the sea will be a 1150hp Caterpillar C18 engine along with smaller, 110hp engines on the outer hulls.

The interior features everything you would expect to find in a yacht of this caliber, a dining area, bathroom, sunbed, lounge, bar and bedrooms. With all that luxury onboard engineers have gone to great lengths to make sure the boat remains light enough for low fuel consumption. For instance, things like cabinetry have been built with honeycomb style wood rather than solid pieces and many of the yacht’s components are made of carbon fiber.

Ermenegildo Zegna Celebrates 20 Years.


Year 2011 sees the Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna celebrating its 20th Anniversary in China.  To commemorate this occasion Ermenegildo Zegna made a special limited edition collection of just twenty pieces to mark this important milestone.  The collection include watches, cufflinks, mobile phones and fabrics made in collaboration with Girard-Perregaux, Tateossian and Vertu.

Twenty limited edition cufflinks created by Tateossian, in solid 18 kt rose gold. Replicating the Zegna China 20th Anniversary logo, with discreetly embedded rubies.

The Signature Vertu for Ermenegildo Zegna China 20th Anniversary Limited Edition presents Vertu’s iconic Signature handset in precious rose gold, sapphire crystal and exotic alligator skin.
As a testimony of its unequalled success in China, Ermenegildo Zegna offers two unique fabrics, signature to the link between the Chinese culture and the sartorial tradition of the Ermenegildo Zegna Wool-Mill.

The watch, with its timeless design, is adorned with an elegant rose gold case, true to Girard-Perregaux’s great chronograph tradition as well as a rare and precious specially designed movement guaranteed by Girard-Perregaux.  On the dial, a tachymeter scale lends it an assertively sporty character, while the logo at 6 o’clock is a tribute to the 20 years that Ermenegildo Zegna has been in China.  The mechanism features one of the most spectacular watchmaking complications – a coaxial Rattrappante chronograph with Foudroyante.  The two superimposed second hands of the Rattrappante chronograph enable to time several events which start simultaneously but which last for different times.  The Foudroyante is represented by the red hand in the counter at 9 o’clock, and enables to measure the final chronograph time to one-eighth of a second.  It completes one revolution of the counter per second, stopping on one of the 8 sections at the end of the timed event.

Lamborghini Is Moving To China?


China looks set to claim another crown in the battle for supremacy in the luxury markets of the world as the country’s interest in supercars continues to grow.  China knocked the United States off its perch as the world’s leading car market two years ago – sales there now surpass 18.26 million units per year.  It seems that tastes in the country are turning now to the very high-end of the auto market, an area long dominated by the Americans.  Italian carmaker Lamborghini says it sold 138 cars in mainland China over the first six months of this year – a 60 percent rise from the same period last year – and the company believes it will move more than 300 cars “at the least” by the end of 2011.  The rise in sales comes after Lamborghini moved 206 cars in China last year, a 150 percent rise from 2009.  Last year in the US, Lamborghini sold 290 cars (out of 1,302 units worldwide) and with the Italian carmakers – now part of Volkswagen’s luxury Audi unit – expecting sales in China to surpass 500 per year in the near future, there’s little doubt where the center of the supercar world is now heading.  Lamborghini currently has nine dealerships/showrooms in China but plans to have 20 open and operating by the end of the year.  The carmaker is now waiting for the roll-out of its new 12-cylinder, 700-horsepower Aventador model – priced on the mainland at 6.28 million yuan (678,000 euros) – and already there are 200 pre-orders in from China, according to the company.  According to research carried out by the company, mainland Chinese owners of Lamborghinis are on average the youngest in the world at 35.  “They are self-made men. They are very young but in China most of the money is young,” a spokesperson from the carmaker told the SMP recently.  A procession of the world’s leading luxury carmakers are expanding throughout the Chinese market. According to motor industry watchers IHS Automotive, luxury car sales in China should top 909,900 units this year – up from 727,200 units last year.  The world’s largest luxury carmaker – BMW AG – says it has moved 121, 614 cars in China this year (up 60.8 percent), while Mercedes-Benz says it has sold just over 95,030 cars there this year, already up 59 percent from 2010.

Absolut: Blank.


After I put up the Absolut SF post, tons of people have been asking me about other Absolut collabs, and I haven’t been able to answer any questions…. Until now.  The Absolut Art Collection Tour is about to make its final stop in Shanghai after touring across Asia Pacific over the past few months.  The Absolut Art Collection, a celebration of art, creativity and popular culture, includes works by Andy Warhol, Francesco Clemente, Rosemarie Trockel, Béatrice Cussol and Angus Fairhurst, to name a few.  This will be the last chance to see the collection before it returns to Sweden. The exhibition will run from July 14th to 30th in Longmen Art Projects Shanghai.  To end the tour, the Shanghai exhibition will unveil the ABSOLUT BLANK campaign, a global creative movement that encourages artists and fans to create unique artwork from the “blank”.

Here, Absolut boldly turned its iconic bottle into a blank canvas to inspire artists throughout the world to collaborate and fill it with creativity.  Absolut brought together artists from a variety of disciplines and watched the journey from pure white canvas to exceptional pieces of art.  The Shanghai exhibition will feature the ABSOLUT BLANK collaboration between rising Chinese artist, Lu Xinjian and the multi-talented Musician/Producer, B6.  The two teamed up to create the “ABSOLUTELY A-MAZED” installation from just a blank map of Shanghai’s city streets.

The combination of both artists unique styles and inspiration from the ABSOLUT BLANK concept led to the creation of an artwork filled with colour, structure and sound that captures the inimitable energy of Shanghai.  A series of activities will be held throughout the exhibition period under the theme “It all starts with an ABSOLUT BLANK” including workshops led by artist Mr. Lu and Musician/Producer B6, where art students and ABSOLUT fans will have the opportunity to create art and music scratch.