Rolex. Elegance and Art this October in Venice. Congratulations for this interesting initiative. Now, luxury and arts walk together.
Some of the world’s most prominent artists and international leaders in the arts gathered in Venice to celebrate the end of a year of rich creative exchange between the mentors and protégés of the 2012- 2013 cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, the philanthropic program that pairs emerging young talents with artistic masters in seven disciplines.
Margaret Atwood, Gilberto Gil, William Kentridge, Lin Hwai-min, Walter Murch and Kazuyo Sejima – mentors respectively in literature, music, visual arts, dance, film and architecture – and their young protégés were honoured at a gala ceremony at La Fenice, Venice’s renowned opera house, on 21 October. Rolex CEO Gian Riccardo Marini will welcome the nearly 500 guests and open the proceedings.
A special tribute was made to theater mentor Patrice Chéreau, who died on 7 October. Rolex is grateful for his participation in the program and his generosity in sharing his wisdom and experience with the next generation.
Prior to this ceremony, the protégés showcased their work, which they have honed over the mentoring year, at the Rolex Arts Weekend. This well-curated festival of the arts took place over two days, 19-20 October, at a single venue, Venice’s Fondazione Giorgio Cini, a former Benedictine monastery that is now dedicated to arts and learning.
The celebrations are being held in Italy for the first time since the Rolex Arts Initiative was established in 2002, with Venice a particularly appropriate setting considering the city’s history as a major center of the arts where artistic apprenticeship took root and flourished.
“The passing on of artistic knowledge over generations is the premise upon which the Rolex Arts Initiative was built,” said Rebecca Irvin, head of philanthropy at Rolex, “and Venice is a perfect place to celebrate and display this practice. This has been an exceptional mentoring year, with all of the pairs spending weeks together, discussing their art and benefiting from their shared conversations that are inspirational to both master and emerging artist.”
Video: Rolex Mentor Lin Hwai-min and Protégé Eduardo Fukushima dancing. Another kind of luxury!
That investment in time was reflected in the quality of the protégés’ artworks, performances, readings, conversations and site-specific installations that Rolex presented at the Arts Weekend. Among the highlights of the Rolex Arts Weekend were a premiere of dance protégé Eduardo Fukushima’s solo, Crooked Man, which was developed in Taiwan during his mentorship with Lin Hwai-min, and a concert by music protégée Dina El Wedidi. She performed songs from her debut album and was joined on stage by her mentor Gilberto Gil, who advised her on the album and recorded a song with her.
The festival also featured cross-disciplinary discussions, 12-minute Speed Talks, with artistic luminaries such as mentors Lin Hwai-min and Gilberto Gil, author Wole Soyinka and Harvard literature professor Homi K. Bhabha.