Le Méridien Franchise Announces Contemporary Chinese Artists Yan Lei and Chen Wenbo as New Members to its LM100(TM) Creative Community

The 21st and 22nd members of Le Méridien's community of cultural innovators will be launched in China.

NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Le Méridien today announced Chinese artists Yan Lei and Chen Wenbo as the latest LM100(TM) members, selected by Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien's Global Cultural Curator. As part of LM100, Yan Lei will provide artwork for a new key card series for Le Méridien's UNLOCK ART programme, which will become part of a limited edition artwork collection. Chen Wenbo in his role on the LM100 will create a series of artworks for high impact areas, such as hotel entrances, worldwide as part of Le Méridien's award-winning Arrival experience.

"LM100 is not a club, it's a family of international artists, designers and architects, that are reinventing Le Méridien with the vocabulary of their individual pioneering work and experience," said Jérôme Sans. "The arrival of Yan and Chen is a fantastic addition to the LM100 family."

Since graduating from Sichuan Academy of Fine Art of Chongqing in 1991, Chen Wenbo has participated annually in numerous international group shows, highlighting his paintings that are inspired by city life. Chen's entrance artwork for Le Méridien brings to life his belief in new interpretations of the world and humanity. Yan Lei is one of the most outrageous, influential and prominent contemporary artists in China, known for his daring and psychological portraits of blurry and confused scenes. His key card series is the latest to be introduced into Le Méridien Hotels.

"Le Méridien aims to become a hub for the creative and curious hotel guest as well as the local community. We are using the arts in a new way, not only curated but also shown in surprising and unexpected ways to stimulate curiosity and dialogue," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and W Hotels Worldwide. "LM100 community provides access to creativity in a relevant and inspiring way. With the addition of Yan Lei and Chen Wenbo to LM100 community, Le Meridien is recognizing the importance of China in the art world today."

Le Méridien's award-winning Arrival Experience has been designed to transform the first ten minutes of a guest's arrival moment at the hotel, from the entrance to the elevator ride to the guest's room. It is composed of four signature moments beginning with the guest walking through a piece of artwork on the door designed by a range of different LM100 members from around the world continuing with the sensory experience of the signature scent LM01(TM) created by Le Labo, the innovative perfume studio by LM100 members Eddie Roschi and Fabrice Penot. An often predictable elevator ride has been transformed into a truly Elevated Experience; a 24-hour music Soundscape created by the musician and Grammy Award winner, Henri Scars Struck. The UNLOCK ART programme introduces hotel key cards as a piece of limited edition artwork, which also unlocks a local contemporary cultural art center by offering complimentary entry. Partners include Le Palais de Tokyo in Paris, The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Tate Galleries in London. LM100 members who have designed key card series to date are Michael Lin, Sam Samore and Hisham Bharoocha.

Le Meridien lobbies worldwide offer an environment of curated contemporary art, designed with a coffee house atmosphere in which guests can socialize, debate and exchange over coffee. Illycaffè has been selected as Le Méridien's global coffee partner and Fritz Storm has been appointed as Le Méridien's Master Barista. Fritz has been offering Barista training and expertise on coffee to Le Méridien associates, with the aim of developing amongst others true passion and expertise on coffee culture.

About LM100

The LM100 community; which started in 2007, now boasts 22 creative members including Yan Lei and Chen Wenbo. They are:

  • Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien's Cultural Curator, is the founding member of the LM100 programme. Jérôme Sans is a celebrated international curator, having worked in acclaimed art institutions worldwide including the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Baltic in the UK, has curated biennale and art fairs worldwide and is a published writer of contemporary art. In doing so, he has created new rules for increasing the visibility of contemporary creation in the art world and is currently director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. In his role as Le Méridien's Cultural Curator, he is responsible for advising, finding and enrolling new members who advise Le Méridien on initiatives based on the brand's passion point of the arts. He aims to introduce cultural initiatives in hotels as an interactive experience and a way of life for Le Méridien guests and associates.
  • Jean-Georges Vongerichten - Alsacian French chef, who burst onto the New York dining scene in 1985, dazzling diners with his innovative interpretation of classic French cuisine and earning four stars from The New York Times at the age of 29, currently has over 18 restaurants worldwide. Jean-Georges is the cuisine guru for Le Méridien putting his mark on cuisine at Le Méridien Hotels worldwide. His first mission has been to develop signature components for Le Méridien breakfast, unveiled in June 2008 at ONE NIGHT Barcelona.
  • Linda Grabe has been Le Méridien's advisor on wines and has created, implemented and curated wine experiences at Le Méridien hotels.
  • Michael Lin was one of Le Méridien's first UNLOCK ART(TM) artists; Lin has created signature key card designs that have been used in Le Méridien hotels worldwide.
  • Ralph Gibson - Legendary photographer, born in Los Angeles in 1939, Gibson incorporates fragments with erotic and mysterious undertones in his photographs, building narrative meaning through contextualization and surreal juxtaposition. Gibson has taken the portraits of LM100 members and provided artwork for the entrance doors of Le Méridien Beach Plaza in Monte Carlo and Le Méridien Bangkok.
  • Kiki Allgeier - A New York-based film maker, Allgeier makes films that blend elements of fiction, documentary, and experimental film, with the aim of creating a dynamic and innovative experience for the viewer. Allgeier has been creating short films on the LM100 members. Shot on Super 8 film fused with high definition video, these films are whimsical, dream-like portraits of the artists.
  • Henri Scars Struck - Musician, composer and producer Scars Struck has created and developed over the years a formidable body of work encompassing various styles and origins. Some of the diverse artists/clients with whom he has collaborated include: Malcolm McLaren, Lenny Kravitz, De La Soul, Charles Aznavour, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Charles de Castelbajac and Roger Sanchez. Scars Struck composed the 24-hour music/sound piece for the Artwork on the Door and Elevated Experience in the hotels.
  • Eddie Roschi and Fabrice Penot - Founders of a perfume company, Le Labo, Roschi and Penot have created a new scent for Le Méridien, LM01(TM). This signature scent is shaped on a construction inspired by the meridian lines. They create perfumes with only the highest quality raw materials and essential oils available. Le Labo's founders are the official perfume designers for Le Méridien.
  • Andrea Illy, grandson of the founder of illycaffè, is Le Méridien's coffee guru. It is with his support and the creation of Le Méridien's coffee culture, that Le Méridien guests discover a whole new world of coffee - for example through innovative coffee tastings.
  • Hisham Bharoocha - A New York City-based artist, Bharoocha concentrates on music, visual art and photography. He is inspired by the true nature of our temporary existence on this planet, understanding life through sensations that arise and pass within ourselves. Bharoocha was one of the Le Méridien's first installation artists. In conjunction with the Yerba Buena Centre of Arts in San Francisco, he created an inspiring space within Le Méridien San Francisco. He has also designed key cards for Le Méridien, for the UNLOCK ART programme.
  • Sam Samore, creator of large-scale photographic works, is also known for his writing, mainly his radical retelling of traditional stories and fairy tales. Samore's book of fairytales, specifically written for Le Méridien, was launched during the ONE NIGHT Miami event in December 2007. He has also designed key cards for Le Méridien, for the UNLOCK ART programme.
  • Younès Rahmoun is an internationally acclaimed young artist, whose nuanced and creative work inspires multiple viewings with its deceptive simplicity. Rahmoun's fascination with Sufi thought is evident in his work, with its themes currently recurring. Working with Le Méridien, Rahmoun has created a number of geometrically- and architecturally-inspired works, which are installed as artwork on the doors of the hotels worldwide.
  • Youssef Nabil - A photographer, has selected numerous hand-coloured and black and white photographs for Le Méridien as artwork on the doors across the globe. Nabil draws his inspiration from the golden age of cinema "Hollywood on the Nile" and the glamour, elegance and melodrama it personifies.
  • An Xiaotong has chosen a set of cityscape artworks for Le Méridien's artwork on the entrance doors, which reflect the digital era and possess an edgy modern sensibility. Her work, which uses people and cityscapes as subject matter, has appeared in solo exhibitions from Paris to Beijing.
  • Joan Fontcuberta - A photographer, lecturer and academic, has selected artworks for Le Méridien's artwork on the doors from his 'Orogenesis' series of dramatic landscapes, which explore the intersection between photography and digital imaging. He has also created a piece of artwork, 'Gastronomy,' especially for Le Méridien Barcelona, which is made up of thousands of tiny pictures collected from the internet, on this theme which overall, form a recognizable culinary image.
  • François and Nicolas Bergerault, founders of L'Atelier des Chefs, have brought their concept of hands-on innovative and accessible cookery classes, in an entertaining and contemporary environment, into the heart of Le Méridien through an exclusive partnership. The first in-hotel L'Atelier des Chefs opened at Le Méridien Dubai in March 2009, offering a new and interactive cuisine experience.
  • Fritz Storm uses his experience in the art of coffee making to further implement Coffee Culture into Le Méridien hotels globally. Named World Barista Champion in 2002, Storm offers Barista training to Le Meridien associates and works together with illycaffè to introduce top quality coffee with an experience in Le Méridien hotels worldwide.
  • Marcus Kreiss is an artist and the founder of the art television channel Souvenirs From Earth. In 2006, Marcus began to build a whole television channel from scratch, as a third way to produce and distribute images between filmmaking and painting. Marcus has created a 24-hour video art programme to be installed in Le Méridien hotels worldwide. He has also created artworks to be installed on selected hotel entrance doors as part of Le Méridien's unique Arrival Experience.

About Le Méridien:

Le Méridien, the French-born hotel brand currently represented by 105 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a full brand re-launch. With close to 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien's strong international presence was a milestone in Starwood's transformation into the most global hospitality company. After an extensive portfolio consolidation resulting in the strongest Le Méridien portfolio ever, Le Méridien is poised for growth within the next five years globally, with strong opportunities in the United States, India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Dallas, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Shimei Bay, Xiamen, Chongqing Nan'an and Qingdao (China), and will still open this year in Taipei (Taiwan) and Oran (Algeria).

SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.



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