Tue, Nov 9, 2021

Luxury Goods, Jewellery & Watches
Chalhoub launches French Art De Vivre at Expo

An exhibition celebrating French savoir-faire, with a focus on handcrafted masterpieces has been launched at the French Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Chalhoub Group, a leading partner for luxury across the Middle East since 1955, has launched ‘The French Art De Vivre, A Dream to Share’ exhibition.

Through Tanagra, the Middle East’s destination for luxury lifestyle, the exhibition combines prestigious creations from the three legendary Maisons: Baccarat, Bernardaud and Christofle, brought together in a spectacular scenography.

Aligned with the Expo 2020 Dubai theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” the exhibition highlights the rich know-how of French craftsmanship, while offering a look into how innovation is driving the future of luxury. Almost urging visitors to pause and walk into a world of dreamlike allure, the exhibition recreates the beauty of luxurious French heritage through handcrafted masterpieces from the renowned Maisons. The exhibition will run till December 6.

Each space hosts a carefully curated selection of pieces, starting with Christofle, the brand that holds a very special place in Chalhoub Group’s history. It was in 1955 that Michel Chalhoub and his wife Widad, founded the Chalhoub Group in Damascus by opening the first Christofle boutique.

For this exhibition, the artisan house curated “Tree of Life”, symbolising Christofle's attachment to its history, roots, and international influence while also showcasing the unique goldsmith's expertise and skills that have made the brand famous since its creation in 1830. Featuring a tree measuring 2 m high, 1 m in diameter, and weighing nearly 100 kg, including 1 kg of sterling silver and 21 grams of gold, the “Tree of Life” is composed of 37 structural elements, decorated with 142 butterflies; each piece is manually attached to the globe with the UAE landmark Burj Khalifa as the centrepiece. Following the exhibition, the Christofle masterpiece will find its home in a spectacular display at the Dubai Mall.

The journey continues inside with Bernardaud, a leader in French porcelain since 1863. This brand has been treasured by the Chalhoub Group for 30 years, combining French know-how, innovation, creativity, and tradition through the fine art of Limoges. For the occasion of the French luxury brand’s 160th anniversary, its latest collaboration with the American artist Jeff Koons will be showcased at the exhibition for the first time; Balloon Dog (Blue), a uniquely curated porcelain limited edition of 799 pieces. This unique piece recreates a balloon, twisted into the shape of a dog, in painstaking detail on a monumental scale, symbolizing the artist’s original and emblematic ten-foot-tall sculpture, Balloon Dog.

The third legendary Maison, Baccarat, has been part of the Chalhoub family since the inception of Tanagra and is the leading name in French fine crystal. Creating signature pieces, Baccarat is a true advocate of fine luxury and has become synonymous with unique expertise. One of the brand’s masterpieces in the exhibition is the Medicis by the world-renowned Dutch artist, Hans van Bentem, an impressive and innovative interpretation of the vase created by Baccarat in 1909. Erected like a real sculpture of light some 2.50 m tall, this exceptional creation, adorned with 13,000 octagons, is a glorious tribute to extravagance and van Bentem’s artistic talent.

The exhibition is also hosting an Artist Space by Tanagra, a manifestation of the creativity of three French artists, Colombe Faber, Sabine Blanchard and Gregoire de Lafforest. The artists exhibit the French art of living by reinterpreting ancient art with the codes of modernity.

Commenting on the French Art de Vivre exhibition, Patrick Chalhoub, Group President, Chalhoub Group, said: “As the UAE is celebrating another global first, the first World Expo in the MENASA region, we are extremely proud to play an integral role in this international event. Being the ‘Thematic Partner’ of the France Pavilion has enabled us to showcase the ‘French art de vivre’ exhibition, a blend combination of culture, craftsmanship and luxury through an immersive experience. The beauty and elegance of French craftsmanship inspired my parents greatly and led to the opening of the first Christofle boutique in Damascus, Syria, in 1955, laying the foundation of our family business. Today, more than 65 years later, I feel extremely humbled that we are still the first to uphold the heritage of French art de vivre, mindfully infused with the UAE’s modernity, at one of the Arab world’s foremost events.”

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