Celebrating 25 Years of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Awards in Hong Kong
21st June 2016 – Montblanc celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, the visionary award that has been recognizing the work and contributions of modern day art patrons since 1992. Johnnie To, recipient of the 2016 Award for Hong Kong was honoured at a ceremony held at Howard’s Gourmet in recognition for his effects in promoting the development of the Hong Kong film industry. Montblanc President Asia Pacific Julien Renard presented the honouree with a Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim limited edition fountain pen encased in a trophy, and 15,000 euros to be donated to the “Fresh Wave” program which is initiated by Mr. To that has been making dreams come true for passionate and aspiring Hong Kong filmmakers for the past nine years. Over 100 selected guests attended the Dinner including Celebrities Andy Hui, Sammi Cheng, Anthony Wong, Wyman Wong, Jonathan Wong, Directors Ka Fai Wai & John Shum, Socialites Charles & Tiffany Heung, Wilfred & Hayley Wong, Stephen & Nancy Ip, Abraham Shek.
Mr Johnnie To is best known internationally for directing and producing action and crime movies such as The Mission (1999), Election (2005) and Vengeance (2009) but he has also devoted much effort to promoting the development of the Hong Kong film industry and nurturing new talent. He initiated the “Fresh Wave” programme that has been giving passionate and aspiring Hong Kong filmmakers the opportunity to fulfill their potential for the past ten consecutive years. “Fresh Wave” even evolved in 2010 into an international short film festival, further fostering cultural exchange among international filmmakers. A few years ago, Johnnie To decided to use his own personal network to further Fresh Wave’s aims, inviting a number of directors to be mentors of Fresh Wave participants every year, giving the participants a glimpse of day-to-day film-making and a provisional apprenticeship. To has also recruited some Fresh Wave winners to work in his own production company. He conducted a masterclass session in 2012 at Forum des Images in Paris, and received an honorary doctorate from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2014.
The Italy ceremony that was held in Venice marked the kick off of the 25th anniversary of the award on 26th April, with further ceremonies hosted in 15 countries around the world over the coming months. Each winner is selected by an international jury of art influencers, a network of the world’s most creative individuals brought together by the Montblanc Cultural Foundation to evaluate the candidates based on their history of personal commitment to the arts, and a concern that the wider public should benefit from cultural projects.
The Hong Kong award ceremony was held on the fifth floor at Howard’s Gourmet. Inside the private lounges of this elegant venue, Montblanc had brought together each of the 25 Patron of Art Edition writing instruments that had been created every year since 1992 to honour historic patrons of art. Upon arrival, guests were ushered to start their journey at the Montblanc Maison with three exhibition rooms. Each patron of art edition was displayed within their individual glorifier and it was decorated as a miniature theme box with the background of the edition or a mannequin dressed in that person’s attire. The centrepiece display at the third room showcased the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and it was inspired by the Peggy Guggenheim gate in Venice. Another part of the exhibition was to display Mr. To’s accomplishment. He has been entertaining and engaging audiences for over 40 years. The showcase aimed to walk through his contribution to society through different decades of his career. Following the cocktail, an intimate seated dinner was hosted along the hallway at the spectacular ballroom . The white timeless wooden panelled walls complementing with white French windows and the lavish crystal chandeliers, creating classy, warm and cozy atmosphere.
Mr King Fai Chung, Mr. Tsang Hei Chiu and Mr. Simon Ma were the esteemed international jury panel from Hong Kong this year. Johnnie To joins a prestigious list of honourees who have been presented with the award this year including Mrs Lais Bodanzky & Mr Luiz Bolognesi (Brazil), Mr Xu Zhen (China), Mrs Claudia Hakim (Colombia), Louis Roederer Foundation (France), Mrs Andrea von Goetz und SchwanenfileB (Germany), The B& M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts & Music (Greece), Mr Giorgio Marconi (Italy), Mr Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japan), Mr Sand Duck Yoo (Korea), Mrs Soumaya Slim (Mexico), Mr Leonid Mikhelson (Russia), Mrs Elena Ochoa Foster (Spain), Mr Henry Levy (Switzerland), Sir John and Lady Frances Sorrell (UK) and Mrs Maria Arena Bell (USA).
Guided by the pioneering spirit since 1906, Montblanc revolutionized the culture of writing with breakthrough innovations. Today, the Maison continues to push boundaries and evolve the expression of fine craftsmanship across each of its product categories: the pinnacle of luxury writing instruments, timepieces, leather goods, accessories, fragrances and eyewear. With every innovation, Montblanc offers new functionalities and groundbreaking designs imbued with the Maison’s heritage of sophistication and crafted to the highest standards through the skills of its artisans in each of its manufactures. Reflecting its ongoing mission with fine lifetime companions born from the most pioneering ideas, the iconic Montblanc Emblem has become the ultimate seal of performance, innovation, quality and expression of style. With its origins deeply rooted in the culture of handwriting, Montblanc has set an international standard of cultural commitment, with the creation of wide-ranging initiatives to promote arts and culture in many forms, while honouring the modern day patrons who support the advancement of the arts.
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