Apple sharpens focus on art, harmony with Chongqing Apple Store mural

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2015
A week after Apple used a work of calligraphy to promote its latest Chinese Apple Store in Hangzhou, the company is again turning to art to tout a soon to open outlet, this time wrapping a mural around the new Chongqing location's iconic glass cylinder entryway.


Section of the Chongqing Apple Store mural. | Source: Apple


Over the weekend, Apple China installed at its upcoming Chongqing retail outlet a huge mural depicting a stylized view of the surrounding metropolis. The store, which is the second China location to feature a glass cylinder after Pudong, is set to open on Saturday.

Created through a collaboration by photographer Navid Baraty and artist Yangyang Pan, the piece features a panoramic photo of the city painted over in broad single strokes of color and now wraps around the store's cylindrical glass structure. Like other glass Apple Store monuments, the cylinder houses a spiral staircase leading down to an underground showroom.

The new mural replaces scaffolding and protective covers removed from the structure earlier this month.

Chongqing is the second Apple Store in China to prominently feature a work of art just prior to opening, the first being Apple's West Lake location in Hangzhou that donned an ancient Chinese poem painted by renowned calligrapher Wang Dongling. As it did with West Lake, which opened to massive crowds on Saturday, Apple filmed a behind the scenes look at Chongqing's mural and uploaded the video to its Chinese website.

Apple Store 重庆解放碑店 #apple

A photo posted by Kale (@monmokale_) on Jan 25, 2015 at 10:47pm PST




In the short clip, Baraty and Pan describe their respective roles in the project highlighted by a spirit of collaboration and harmony that seemingly mirrors Apple's ambitions for the region. Instead of jolting Chinese customers with Western consumer ideologies, the company is looking to meld with and enhance a culture centuries in the making, a wise tactic for a country so steeped in history.

In a tweet linking to the video on Monday, Baraty said Apple flew him up to Chongqing especially for the project. While unconfirmed, the company likely did the same for Pan, who immigrated to Canada in 2006.

Apple is in the midst of an aggressive retail expansion into mainland China that is expected to see 25 new stores open by 2016. Retail chief Angela Ahrendts recently revealed plans to activate five Apple Stores in China before the Chinese New Year on Feb. 19, and Chongqing is the second to open in as many weeks.

Apple's Chongqing location will open its doors on Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. local time.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    If Apple activates 10 stores, they get an extra one free.
  • Reply 2 of 18

    Given the reports that Apple sold more iPhone 6's in China than in the US, probably a good idea to keep building the brand in an exceptional manner there.

  • Reply 3 of 18
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,483member
    [QUOTE]Instead of jolting Chinese customers with Western consumer ideologies, the company is looking to meld with and enhance a culture centuries in the making, a wise tactic for a country so steeped in history.[/QUOTE]

    Good point, nicely stated. From this distance, it looks like a brilliant strategy. I wonder how it plays to the intended audience.

    More evidence that the Ahrendts era is underway? It seems there's a lot of artfulness behind this.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    Good point, nicely stated. From this distance, it looks like a brilliant strategy. I wonder how it plays to the intended audience.



    More evidence that the Ahrendts era is underway? It seems there's a lot of artfulness behind this.

    Seems to me Ahrendts is riding the coat-tails of former activity.

     

    Great to see that Apple isn't pushing one image, but is adaptable. 

  • Reply 5 of 18
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

     

    Seems to me Ahrendts is riding the coat-tails of former activity.

     

    Great to see that Apple isn't pushing one image, but is adaptable. 




    I'm not so sure about that. Browett doesn't seem the type to think of things like this.

  • Reply 6 of 18
    I fly out of Chongqing every 9 weeks for work. I have an overnight 16-Feb and now I have something new to explore.
  • Reply 7 of 18

    I'm not so sure about that. Browett doesn't seem the type to think of things like this.

    edit Scratch that, I'm thinking Johnson.

    But I still agree. Right up Ahrendts alley.
  • Reply 8 of 18

    This is so great. Apple spends a ton of money setting these things up, money that lesser companies would rather spend on silly ads. I wish Apple would do this more in the US, but unfortunately it doesn't seem like the symbolism and aesthetics would be appreciated enough to make it worth it. I remember the curtain image for one of the newer NY stores a couple years back, but I can't think of any more recent examples in the US. I hope Apple does something similar for the Union Square store opening. Perhaps the US audience would pay attention this time. Those glass doors will be very impressive.

  • Reply 10 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Angela Ahrendts?

    Is her pay finally paying off?

    Or was this planned before her hire?? I know huge companies plan stuff years in advance. huge companies
  • Reply 11 of 18
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,483member
    cali wrote: »
    Angela Ahrendts?

    Is her pay finally paying off?

    Or was this planned before her hire?? I know huge companies plan stuff years in advance. huge companies

    Yes, finally, after a near eternity of seven long months! /s

    She started last May, seeming to pay much attention to China in particular. Here's a sample story from Mark Gurman, linked to by PhilBoogie in another thread:

    http://************/2015/01/26/angela-ahrendts-recruiting-us-employees-china-stores-initiatives-revealed/#more-362758

    Edit: Oops, I forgot, no 9to5 links allowed. Insert that plus mac.com for the asterisks if you're interested in how she's approaching the expansion into China. Asking for American retail employees to relocate, among other things. Amazing.
  • Reply 12 of 18

    I'm really impressed!  It is not just about planning, the execution is superb!  The number of store opening before the Chinese shopping holidays,  the showcase of local artists just shown Apple's/Angela's impeccable taste.

  • Reply 13 of 18
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    flaneur wrote: »
    Yes, finally, after a near eternity of seven long months! /s

    She started last May, seeming to pay much attention to China in particular. Here's a sample story from Mark Gurman, linked to by PhilBoogie in another thread:

    http://************/2015/01/26/angela-ahrendts-recruiting-us-employees-china-stores-initiatives-revealed/#more-362758

    Edit: Oops, I forgot, no 9to5 links allowed. Insert that plus mac.com for the asterisks if you're interested in how she's approaching the expansion into China. Asking for American retail employees to relocate, among other things. Amazing.

    Hey I just wanted to make sure it was her idea and was hoping so because I didn't know what the big deal about her was and I want to know dince she was paid the most.

    Thanks for the link let's see what else she has planned for the future.

    P.S. Jobs was kind of a designer and architect himself. I wonder if she will take over that too?

    The building here looks amazing but of course that was designed by someone else.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    I will be In Chongqing Jan 30 - 31 maybe I can get time to bust the opening and take photos.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    xiao-zhi wrote: »
    I will be In Chongqing Jan 30 - 31 maybe I can get time to bust the opening and take photos.

    That would be cool; please post. I saw that the mural has already been taken down:

    2000
    2000

    Source: http://taisy0.com/2015/01/30/45085.html
  • Reply 16 of 18
    It’s good to see Apple accommodating a primitive culture.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    It’s good to see Apple accommodating a primitive culture.


    Careful now, some may be offended by that.
  • Reply 18 of 18
    philboogie wrote: »
    It’s good to see Apple accommodating a primitive culture.


    Careful now, some may be offended by that.

    Good.
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