Le Méridien’s unique Chinese art collective collaboration

by James Wilkinson

Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts, part of Marriott International, has unveiled the brand’s first-of-its-kind collaboration with Chinese art collective X+Q Art, founded by renowned artists Qu Guangci and Xiang Jing.

Encompassing eleven distinctive artworks, themed after the ‘Ai Mei • Midsummer’ sculpture of a young girl, the initiative shares a passion for diversity, celebrating the unique sense of place of the eleven Le Méridien hotels across Greater China.

Unveiled for the first time on 9 December at Le Royal Meridien Shanghai, the sculptures embrace the ‘Destination Unlocked’ spirit of the Paris-born brand, helping guests discover their destination through the brand’s three filters: culture, coordinates and cuisine.

“We are thrilled to partner with X+Q Art’s ‘Midsummer’ art piece, adapting it into individual works – each inspired by the dynamic locations of our hotels across China,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts.

“The collaborative effort with such celebrated local artists conveys each destination’s story in an unexpected way, offering our curious and creative-minded guests a richer experience and a new lens to unlock the local destination.”

The eleven Le Méridien hotels housing the ‘Ai Mei • Midsummer’ piece, each with its own specially designed costume inspired by the local destination, include Le Méridien Qingdao, Le Méridien Qingdao West Coast Resort, Le Méridien Yixing, Le Méridien Xiamen, Le Méridien Cyberport, Le Méridien Huizhou, Le Méridien Shimei Bay, Le Méridien Chongqing, Le Méridien Zhengzhou, Le Royal Méridien Shanghai and the newly opened Le Méridien Shanghai Minhang. Each sculpture will be featured in the signature Le Méridien Hub, the brand’s reinterpretation of the traditional lobby, further enhancing the brand’s award-winning arrival experience.

Le Royal Méridien Shanghai’s iteration, for example, wears a dazzling neon-inspired dress paying homage to the iconic neon lights on Nanjing Road – from the 1920s and 1930s, when Shanghai epitomized the sophisticated fusion between East and West. Meanwhile, on the coast at Le Méridien Qingdao, the inspiration for Midsummer’s dress stems from the city’s nickname as the ‘City of Sails’. The colorful design of triangular sails against a blue background pays homage to Qingdao’s maritime history as well as its seawaters, coastline and natural environment.

“With its passion for culture, Le Méridien brand is an ideal platform to share our inspirations and aspirations for art, bringing them to an audience that appreciates modern aesthetics and the emotions they evoke,” said Qu Guangci, co-founder, X+Q Art. “Our work with Le Méridien embodies our joint appreciation of different destinations and diverse local cultures, as well as the magic that lies behind the discovery of new places in greater depth.”

Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Asia Pacific at Marriott International, added, “We are pleased to partner with X+Q Art to enrich the guest experience. Le Méridien is devoted to fostering local connections, adding a layer of indigenous culture and artistry to its French heritage. This collaboration also alludes to the fact that, in each destination, there are unlimited opportunities for discovery.”

To commemorate X+Q Art’s current partnership with Le Méridien, the unveiling included a lively modern choreographed number with dancers wearing clothing inspired by the different ‘Ai Mei • Midsummer’ sculptures; and an art exhibition showcasing the inspired Le Méridien ‘Ai Mei • Midsummer’ designs.

To allow Le Méridien guests to experience this joint endeavor first hand, the Le Méridien brand will hold an exhibition tour of the 11 ‘Ai Mei • Midsummer’ works at the 11 Le Méridien properties in Greater China. There will also be a series of themed activations at selected Le Méridien hotels in the country.

Le Méridien continues to forge collaborations with leading artists and innovators, who are inspired by the dynamic culture, art, and cuisine of the locale. Recently, Le Méridien invited French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague to stage the Paris after Dark music series at Hu Bar of Le Royal Méridien Shanghai. To further elevate guest’s experience at its properties in Greater China, the brand also collaborated with renowned latte artist Esther Maasdam earlier this year, to create exclusive Chinese zodiac lattes, and with award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini on locally-inspired éclairs.