The illy Art Collections, a series of artist cups that the Trieste-based company has been making since 1992, are one of the most evident expressions of the relationship that illycaffè has with contemporary art.
Some of the most authoritative exponents of the international art scene and emerging young people have transformed an everyday object such as the cup - in this case reinvented by the architect and designer Matteo Thun - into an object of worship: from Michelangelo Pistoletto to Marina Abramović, from Anish Kapoor to Daniel Buren, from Robert Rauschenberg to Jeff Koons, from Jan Fabre to James Rosenquist, from Jannis Kounellis to Julian Schnabel, from Louise Bourgeois to William Kentridge.
With the authors of the over seventy collections created to date, illy maintains intense collaborative relationships that are developed through real artistic and cultural projects. The illy Art Collections, signed, limited and numbered editions, are on sale all over the world, in bars, in shops that distribute illy products. Once exhausted, they are not played.
Liu Wei is one of the most interesting and young active artists in China, where he was born in 1972. His creativity is expressed through multiple forms of art: from performance to sculpture, from photography to video, to painting, to installations.
With his first works, Liu Wei explores cultural, social and political ideas, to get to concentrate with his most recent works on objects that are part of our daily life and on materials - including ceramics - "in search of the inherent value in the matter itself ".
The most recent solo shows include: “Liu Wei”, Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, 2013; Trilogy, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai and “Myriad Beings”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, both in 2011.
He has participated in numerous international group exhibitions: Sharjah Biennial 11, The United Arab Emirates 2013; “DREAMLANDS”, Center Pompidou, Paris 2010; “China Power Station: Part III”, Mudam Luxembourg 2008; "China Power Station: Part II", Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo 2007. Liu Wei participated in the 4th Guangzhou Triennial, 2012, the 6th Busian Biennial, 2008, the 9th Lyon Biennial, 2007, the 51st Biennale d'Arte of Venice, 2005.