Over the past few years, there has been a serious bent of the Chinese consumers towards buying vintage wine. We had seen auctions like the Domaine de la Romanee Conti wine lot sale, the Petrus Soethby’s sale, and the Acker Merrall & Condit auction, which pegged in huge sums of money from Chinese buyers, who have also taken it up as a mode of investing. Now the special edition Zhang Huan series of wine bottles, which feature ‘Confucius’ based artwork labels have managed to bring in record breaking prices, especially the lot of 10 Imperial wines which bought in $79,506, where as the overall lot bought in $191,476. All the funds collected go towards the charitable H2 Foundation for Art and education.
Chinese artist Zhang Huan has long been inspired by the ancient Chinese philosopher, who was known for his theory on man and his relationship nature. Through his works, Huan has managed to depict various facets of Confucius thought process, including a series where he uses steel plates to engrave his face portrait on along with his quotes. Mr. Huan explains,
“Confucius thinks people should find their own position and move forward instead of disturbing the natural order of things and going overboard. The theory of harmony between man and nature tells us to respect nature in order to establish a world of equilibrium where we can live together peacefully and happily.”
When one thinks of an Italian wine, one might not relate to the Chinese philosophy but the artist has managed to pick only the select few aspects, which would highlight the beauty and depth of each wine bottle vintage, to that of how Confucius described man and nature. This relationship between the artist and wine label, relates to 100 of the 750 ml bottles of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, the 1-liter bottles of which only 10 exist in totality, and the single 9-liter bottle which had the steel plate portrait of the philosopher on it. But this isn’t the only time the Italian brand has done this. On previous occasions, they have tied up with famous artists to design special edition bottles such as these, and it’s something they intend to do in future. We just wonder what next year’s edition would look like.