Happy Together, Chungking Express, In The Mood For Love... These are probably some of your favourite Wong Kar Wai films.
What if you could own props, costumes, photographs, posters and more from the entrancing world of the Hong Kong filmmaker?
Well, here’s the good news. Auction house Sotheby’s has announced a collaboration with the acclaimed auteur, the first Chinese director to win Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, taking place at its Hong Kong sales this October.
The star lot of Sotheby’s Modern Art Evening Sale on Oct 9 is the debut of Wong’s first ever NFT creation. Titled In The Mood For Love – Day One, the NFT is edited from never-before-seen footage shot on the first production day of the 2000 film, In The Mood For Love.
The original film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to critical acclaim, winning the Grand Technical Prize. The star of the film, Tony Leung, became the first Hong Kong actor to win the Best Actor award.
Unveiled for the first time, the NFT short film features rare footage starring Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung as characters utterly different from the iconic lovers in the original film. It is the first Asian film NFT to ever be offered by an international auction house!
Remember this iconic yellow leather jacket, donned by Leslie Cheung in the 1997 film Happy Together? The memorable piece will be up for sale, amongst other items.
The ground-breaking film, which depicted the love story of a male couple living in Argentina, starred Cheung as the legendary Ho Po-Wing. It took home the Best Director award at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, marking the first time a Chinese director won the award.
The jacket has been preserved in excellent condition, Sotheby’s said.
“The first time Leslie put on his yellow leather jacket was during our first fitting in Buenos Aires. I was there standing behind him when he checked himself in front of the mirror. It was his habit before facing the audience, because he always wanted to offer his best look,” said Wong.
“A few weeks later, the silhouette of Ho Po-Wing’s back swayed undecidedly into the empty concourse at a train station in Buenos Aires. In one shot, Ho Po-Wing clutched his jacket to his chest, like he was warming himself in the cold night of the Argentinian winter. Behind the monitor, the shot looked like a solo tango. That night, his partner was the yellow jacket.
“I have always kept this yellow jacket, because it symbolises a memorable presence: Tenderness, rebellion and solitude,” Wong continued.
In addition, to mark the 30th anniversary of Jet Tone Films, Wong’s production company, a dedicated sale of collectibles from the Jet Tone Archive will take place on Oct 10.
Since its foundation in 1991, the Jet Tone team has been keeping an extensive archive documenting the many milestones of Wong’s creative journey.
“Most of these 30 collectible items have played a role in my films: Costumes, props, styling, photography and posters. A few even came from my personal collection. Together, they symbolise the different stages of filmmaking from production to exhibition,” said Wong.
The sale, comprising 30 collectibles handpicked by Wong including props, costumes, posters, photographs and box sets, will serve as a retrospective of Wong’s career to date. Each item will also include a certificate signed by Wong himself.
“The first day of every film production is like the first date with your dream lover — it is filled with fright and delight, like skating on thin ice. An arrow never returns to its bow; twenty years on, this arrow is still soaring,” says Wong, reminiscing the first thoughts of the movie’s production.
For more information on Sotheby’s collaboration with Wong Kar Wai, click here.