From gorgeous new architectural concepts, to its most ambitious retail store opening plan in years, Apple certainly isn’t slacking off when it comes to its continued expansion into China: a market that Tim Cook has said will one day be Apple’s largest of anywhere in the world, including the U.S.
Ahead of opening its latest brick-and-mortar retail store at West Lake in Hangzhou this Saturday, Apple has added a new video to its Chinese webpage — showing famous calligrapher Wang Dongling creating an astonishing mural for the store.
It’s a great nod to Chinese tradition, while also managing to be quintessentially Apple in spirit.
Born in 1945, Dongling is one of the most successful modernist calligraphers in China, and one of very few who are known all over the world. While we don’t know who made the call to give him the Apple commission, he is well-known in America thanks to influential stints as a visiting professor at both the University of Minnesota and the University of California, Santa Cruz in the late 1980s and early 90s.
Given that his works tend to fuse traditional Chinese calligraphy with modernist art, the concept for Apple’s large scale mural (which is a poem translating roughly as this) is in keeping with the company’s current desire to show off artwork in its Apple Stores around the world. Steve Jobs also famously studied calligraphy during his short stint at Reed College — and this is said to have had a huge impact on the late Apple co-founder’s appreciation of aesthetics.
The Wang Dongling mural at the West Lake store was first unveiled on January 7, although Apple has only just released the video showing its creation, which can be viewed here.
Apple has announced plans to open 25 new retail stores in China over the next two years, bringing the total count from 15 stores in 2014 to 40 in 2016.
During Apple’s last earnings call, Cook noted that, “We’re investing like crazy in the [Chinese] market.”
The evidence is there for all to see!