For the first time, Hennessy is ushering in the Chinese Lunar New Year by honouring not only one symbolic animal, but the entire zodiac in all its diversity. In the hands of contemporary artist Yan Pei-Ming, a joyful celebration becomes a symbol of inclusiveness and hope, carrying a promise of forward momentum after a particularly challenging period.
Chinese by birth and French by naturalisation, the artist’s life story in many ways mirrors that of Richard Hennessy, the Irish-born founder of the house that still bears his name more than 250 years later. Like him, Yan’s story is one of striking out on his own seeking adventure, embracing a vision and building a life in a foreign land.
Having seamlessly integrated into French culture, the artist graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Dijon and made the city his home and the heart of his practice. Renowned for his portraits of animals and famous personalities, Yan honours the Year of the Rabbit with a monumental painting, measuring 6m x 3.5m, showing the animal within the extended family of the Chinese zodiac.
Hennessy is proud to unveil La Grande Course, a painting Yan considers pivotal in his oeuvre. A vibrant composition inspired in part by an epic saga from Hollywood’s golden era, the artwork shows the zodiac bestiary galloping in unison, evoking a message of freedom, inclusion and interconnectedness. The artist’s signature broad, sweeping brush strokes impart a sense of universality, immediacy and adventure.
This special piece will be accompanied by limited Lunar New Year editions of Hennessy V.S.O.P, Hennessy X.O and Hennessy Paradis cognacs featuring elements of this artwork.
The most precious offer, a one-litre Hennessy Paradis carafe, created in collaboration with the French heritage maison Bernardaud and hand-decorated in the porcelain maker’s atelier in Limoges, southeastern France, has been produced in a limited and numbered edition of only 888 pieces exclusively for the season. It is presented in a beautifully crafted wooden box and sold exclusively at select retail destinations.
This article first appeared on Jan 16, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.