Considered one of China’s most pioneering and best-known creative figures, Xu Bing was commissioned to create the Mouton Rothschild 2018 label by the Bordeaux first growth’s owners, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild.
Xu Bing, born in 1955, is known for his creative use of language and the Mouton Rothschild 2018 label is an example of his ‘square word calligraphy’.
This technique is used to create artwork that resembles traditional Chinese characters but is composed of words and letters from the Latin alphabet.
‘Mouton Rothschild’ can be read in the artwork adorning the Pauillac Château’s 2018 vintage.
‘When I discovered Xu Bing, I was captivated by him as an inventor of signs endowed with incredible poetic power,’ said Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild.
Mouton Rothschild has commissioned an artist to design every vintage label since 1945, although poster artist Jean Carlu had previously designed a one-off label for Mouton 1924.
‘I have long been aware of the close connection between Château Mouton Rothschild and art,’ said Xu Bing, who met with the late Baroness Philippine de Rothschild after being invited to the estate in 2013.
‘I was impressed by her energy, her warm personality and her knowledge of the arts. She said that one day I should create a label for Mouton Rothschild. So when Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild contacted me to illustrate the label for the vintage 2018, I took it as both an honour and an opportunity to pay tribute.’
Xu Bing follows Annette Messager, who designed the Mouton Rothschild 2017 label.
Previous artists have included Pablo Picasso (1973), Andy Warhol (1975), Francis Bacon (1990) and David Hockney (2014).
Additional reporting by Georgina Hindle.