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Art Fair Philippines 2020: Hublot Loves Art

The fair might be over, but Hublot and the arts aren’t done yet.

When it comes to watchmaking, Hublot is known for delving into the more unexplored areas of the arts to draw inspiration from. And this isn’t some empty claim, either. Since watchmaking legend Jean-Claude Biver stepped in as CEO in the early 2000s, the house has continuously come up with watches that explore the relationship between the mechanical and the conceptual. 

From the original Big Bang (which fused then-unconventional materials like rubber with gold) to the more recent Sang Bleu II (which has a design based on the geometric work of tattoo artist Maxime Büchi), Hublot isn’t afraid to step out of what people would normally consider traditional watchmaking.

The Big Bang Sang Bleu II is based on the geometric tattoos of artist Maxime Büchi.
Photo: Hublot

The watchmaking house has collaborated with quite a number of artists—sculptor Richard Orlinski, painter Marc Ferrero, pianist Lang Lang—and has created timepieces inspired by each of their disciplines. Art Philippines 2020, though, marked their first time to collaborate with a Philippine artist.

Visual artist Rodel Tapaya, Hublot’s new friend of the brand, displayed his work in an exhibit called “Hublot Loves Art.” Hublot was the official timekeeper of Art Fair Philippines 2020 and had a booth at the main building, with a pavilion at the rooftop to house some of Tapaya’s larger work.

Tapaya’s larger pieces were on display in a pavilion at the rooftop. His work is known for using folk narrative and history to create a whimsical display.
Photo: Mantle

Tapaya is known for using folk narrative with a contemporary touch, displaying a sense of poignancy in his use of bright colors. His work spans across a variety of media—acrylic, local crafts, dioramas, drawings—all portraying a whimsical interpretation of local life and history. 

Still, for a watchmaking house that’s made a name for itself by being just as disruptive as art is, Hublot’s pursuit of the unconventional won’t be ending here. And if you’re interested to hear where Hublot has been and where it’s headed, you can take it straight from the man himself, as Mantle sat down to talk to Jean-Claude Biver during his last visit to the country: