BY JEFF MARINELLI
In 1992, Montblanc began a program to further reinforce its reputation as an active supporter of world art and culture. The Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award is a global initiative designed to support and honor modern day patrons of the arts who give their time, energy and money to enable art and culture to flourish. Recipients are identified in respective regions, including Europe, Asia and the US.
The coveted award celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, as Montblanc looks back on those years of dedication, while saluting this year’s winners. Since it was established, the award has been presented to more than 100 distinguished patrons of the arts.
Since 2003, the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award has paid particular attention to arts patrons in China, who have been at the forefront of leading China’s art and culture initiatives into the global arena. Some of the highly respected individuals to have received this grand honor include Xiao Xiangyu of the Shanxi ‘Hope’ Art School, Zhang Xin, Commune By The Wall and SOHO collection, Mr Ma Wei-Du, the Guan Fu Classical Art Museum and Mei Bao Jiu, Mei Art School and Peking Opera artist, just to name a few.
As an economic powerhouse China’s remarkable development continues to flourish. It is imperative that its leaders in art and culture do not go unnoticed. More importantly, that these distinguished individuals continue to receive support and appreciation in the eyes of the world. All honorees have devoted themselves and significantly contributed to the overall development and promotion of Chinese art to the world.
This year’s recipient of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award is the young and talented opera singer Liao Changyong, who stunned the world in 1997 when he won 1st Prize at the 41st French International Toulouse Singing Competition. Having been raised as a poor country boy from Chengdu, he has risen from obscurity, via the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, to carve his name among the greats, and today he sits on top of the world, winning awards and earning the praise of all who are fortunate enough to witness his distinctive and refined baritone.
Yet he is not one to rest on his laurels, remaining as dedicated to his passion as ever. And it is because of his contribution to the development of art and culture in China that he has this year been chosen by Montblanc to receive this prestigious award.
Other significant programs, which Montblanc is involved, include the Montblanc Young Artist World Patronage established in 2004. Young and upcoming artists are given the platform to present their name and talent to a broader public and the international art scene. The original artworks became and will become part of the Montblanc “Cutting Edge Art Collection”— one of the various Montblanc initiatives to support contemporary art and demonstrate the brand’s commitment and contribution to art and culture.
Itself an active corporate sponsor of a wide-ranging program of cultural activities, Montblanc also believes in the crucial part to be played in the health of the arts, by passionate and committed individuals. The Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award is a symbol of that belief.