installed within the yuz museum of contemporary art in shanghai, french designer mathieu lehanneur has created a temporary museum for swiss luxury watchmaker audemars piguet. referred by the designer as ‘the ring’, the highly architectural pavilion is comprised of a large-scale 4m high copper ring into which visitors are invited on a journey that allows them to explore the rich history of the swiss audemars piguet watch brand.
a huge rock has been placed in the center of the ring, made from a cast replica of those found in vallée de joux in switzerland — the watchmaker’s home. the center piece pays — apart from paying tribute to the origin’s geography — leads the visitors to twelve open doors that evoke the hours of a watch dial. their through the installation, guided by their movement, suggests imaginary needles, representing the hands of a timepiece.
the structure’s exterior is coated in copper, providing a sense of mystery and awe while the interior offers a series of themed rooms that exhibit a close-up experience of the iconic swiss brand, revealing a story from its origins to the 21st century — from watchmaking to contemporary art, from innovations to the masterpieces and from the vallée de joux to china. ‘this temporary museum is a reflection of time… a dreamy vision of time where each instant differs from the previous one. here every door opens onto a new story,’ comments mathieu lehanneur.
two hundred timepieces — both vintage and contemporary — will be shown, resulting in the largest audermars piguet collection ever to be exhibited outside its own museum. ‘audemars piguet is one of the rare brands where everything is so perfect that each element deserves to be seen, never hidden: its origins, the landscape from which it derives, the workshops in which the watchmakers apply their craft, the tool, labs… just like the tiny pieces in their watches, every single element of the story, even if it is invisible to the consumer, is a masterpiece. in this exhibition, I wanted to open all the doors,’ says lehanneur.