Davidoff showcase Caribbean Art to Basel Hong Kong 2015

Gus Franklyn-Bute Editor-in-Chief

For the third consecutive year as Associate Partner of Art Basel, Oettinger Davidoff unveiled a newly designed VIP hospitality lounge in the Collectors Lounge at Art Basel Hong Kong (March 15 – 17, 2015). The new lounge features the Davidoff Art Initiative’s global programming and artists. During the Hong Kong show, the Basel-based manufacturer of premium cigars unveiled the most recent installment in its Masterpiece Humidor Collection designed by Paris- based artist Lison de Caunes, which features traditional artisan technique of marqueterie de paille (straw marquetry).

Newly Designed Davidoff Lounge

The new Davidoff Lounge at Art Basel in Hong Kong was designed by the renowned Swiss firm of Atelier Oï and showcases the activities of the Davidoff Art Initiative, Davidoff’s international art program, which supports contemporary Caribbean art and artists of the Dominican Republic and the wider Caribbean region.


The lounge expresses Oettinger Davidoff’s core values: respect for the natural environment, support for time-honored techniques of premium tobacco cultivation and cigar production, and an embrace of the cultural heritage and contemporary artistic vibrancy of the Caribbean region. The objective is to also convey the warmth, luxury, and authenticity associated with the Caribbean region, reflected in Davidoff’s motto, Time Beautifully Filled.

The centerpiece of the newly designed lounge is a digital screen which features interactive images from the Davidoff Art Initiative’s growing network of Caribbean artists and arts organizations, as well as the five international artists currently in residence at the Altos de Chavón School of Design in the Dominican Republic. An Instagram feed of images generated by artists and organizations linked to the Davidoff Art Initiative provides a window into the program, which since its inception in 2012, has worked closely with the contemporary artists across the region.


The Davidoff Lounge also features photographs by Polibio Díaz, the most recent Dominican artist to participate in the Davidoff Art Residency program at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn, New York, in the fall of 2014.

“By focusing on our involvement in the world of art, our lounge will call attention to the cultural contributions of the Caribbean, a region which is attracting more and more critical and commercial attention in the global art community,” said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, CEO of Oettinger Davidoff. “Caribbean artists frequently explore issues of identity, history, cultural encounters and convergences in their work, and these topics resonate beyond the Caribbean throughout the world. We are thrilled that their dynamic and diverse visual language is gaining more notice at places like Art Basel.”

About the Davidoff Art Initiative

The Davidoff Art Initiative supports contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean, strengthens art organizations in the Dominican Republic, shares knowledge and expertise about contemporary art and fosters cultural engagement between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. At the core of the Art Initiative, Davidoff aims to engage closely with the arts and culture of the Dominican Republic, where much of its production and many of its employees are based, bringing opportunity and visibility to the art and culture of the Caribbean region, and extending the company’s long-standing commitment to artistry, craftsmanship, community and quality. The Davidoff Art Initiative’s four global program areas are: Art Residency, Art Dialogues, Art Grants, and Art Editions.


About Artist Lison de Caunes

After studying at the Union Centrale des Arts Decoratifs, Lison de Caunes dedicated herself to the art of straw marquetry for many years, therefore perpetuating her grandfather Andre Groult’s tradition. She became a straw marquetry specialist; she rehabilitates these poetic practices by restoring furniture and objects from the 17th century to the Art Deco period and by creating furniture, domestic accessories and wall panels to order.


About the History of Davidoff Humidors

Just like fine wine, premium cigars need to be stored in the right environment in order to emerge matured and improved. It was Zino Davidoff who first invested time researching and developing optimum ways for storing the finest quality cigars. The time spent in the humidor during the aging process takes place, and requires absolute control of humidity and temperature. Taking such factors into consideration, he built his first and famous cigar cellar in 1930. However, not all connoisseurs have a cigar cellar at their disposal; thus he pioneered the first humidor so that cigar-lovers might store their prized possessions on a smaller scale.


For Zino Davidoff, it was not enough to pursue excellence inside the humidor. In 1965, he started collaborating with a skilled cabinet-maker workshop. These caskets were the first to display Davidoff’s desire to produce humidors fit to grace and complement any modern and contemporary design environment. Davidoff humidors have gone on to be made by a variety of craftsmen and to set standards of aesthetic appeal equally matching those of technological efficiency.


Innovation in the art and the science of humidors has gone hand-in-hand in Davidoff’s array of possibilities for humidor design. The Davidoff regulator, for instance, broke new ground with the first self-regulating system dispensing with the need for a controlling hygrometer. Each humidor, like each cigar, is the product of time. Time painstakingly spent. Time lovingly applied.

About Oettinger Davidoff AG

The CHF 1.2 billion Oettinger Davidoff AG, with over 3,500 employees around the world, traces its roots back to 1875 and remains family owned to this day with two distinctly different businesses: one that is focused on FMCG distribution in the Swiss market and one dedicated to the core business of producing, marketing and retailing premium branded cigars, tobacco products and accessories. The premium branded cigar business includes Davidoff, AVO, Camacho, Cusano, Griffin’s, Private Stock, Zino and Zino Platinum. Oettinger Davidoff AG is anchored in a strong “crop-to-shop” philosophy, having pursued a vertical integration from the tobacco fields in the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua to the worldwide network of almost 70 Davidoff Flagship Stores.

About Art Basel Hong Kong

The third edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong will feature 233 premier galleries, from 37 countries and territories from Asia, Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world and more than 3,000 artists, ranging from young emerging artists to the Modern masters from both Asia and the West from the 20th and 21st centuries. With around 50 percent of galleries having exhibition spaces in Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, Art Basel underlines its commitment to showcasing the best art from the region. The show will include for the second time a Film sector, curated by Li Zhenhua, and hosted in collaboration with the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Alexie Glass-Kantor will curate Encounters, the sector for large-scale sculptural and installation pieces, for the first time this year. Art Basel in Hong Kong, whose Lead Partner is UBS, takes place from Sunday, March 15, to Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.