Louis Vuitton is celebrating its founder’s bicentennial birthday in style, and its ongoing exhibition is testament to that.
Without a doubt, the brand’s 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition certainly looks set to inspire many of us from near and far as it rolls from Singapore to its next destinations of Beijing, Tokyo, New York and London by the end of this year. The show is currently taking place in Singapore from April 4 to 27.
If you’re already planning for a trip across the causeway to stop by the Louis Vuitton exhibition, here are some of the most impressive trunks to look out for.
The most impressive trunks of the Louis Vuitton 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries exhibition
Peter Marino, architect
“I set out to create a trunk that even Harry Houdini could not get out of. In 1912, Houdini performed his underwater trunk escape. Houdini was shackled, chained, trussed and nailed into the trunk. It only took Houdini two and a half minutes to free himself and surface from the trunk. Houdini later performed this trick several times, many of which took him less than a minute to free himself. Houdini was able to perform his stunt by shifting a panel over, opening up the trunk enough to escape. We designed the trunk with tight fitting leather straps in order to avoid any chance of shifting panels over to allow for the stunt escape. The challenge now is open to any aspiring Houdini to escape this Houdini Trunk.”
Lego, toy company
“The birthday cake for Monsieur Louis Vuitton’s 200th birthday, made of Lego bricks, was borne out of a collaboration between our French atelier and seven children. It was designed in Milly-La-Forêt close to Paris in July 2021, taking over 50 hours with 31,700 bricks. It measures 80cm tall and 50cm wide. Thanks to the children’s imaginations, the birthday cake was completely redesigned and customised with Lego Dots, immersing us into the colourful, creative and playful world of children! When he was only 16, Monsieur Louis took the decision to change his life, by becoming a trunkmaker and offering this creative service to the world. This unique artwork celebrates the creativity of the youngest minds, since it is them who construct the world tomorrow.”
Mr Flower Fantastic, multi-disciplinary artist
“I’ve always believed that to plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. Mr Vuitton thought long and hard about what tomorrow looked like for his brand. That sort of vision, timelessness, legacy is inspiring, and what I too am committed to. In celebration of his 200th birthday, I wanted to create a sculpture that captures a glimpse into what the brand has come to mean for a culture I was raised within. The sculpture juxtaposes floral opulence with a tough exterior. Delicate and strong. Soft and rigid. Beautiful but often misunderstood. Legacy Garden gestures toward the often complicated yet transformative experience of finding beauty through struggle. For instance, ivy symbolises eternity and faith. That greenery is fighting to grow through the temporary metal gates – an ode to the inner-city gardens that I grew up in where flowers don’t grow unless you grow them.”
Cheng Ran, multi-disciplinary artist
“History is always linked with history, memory is always linked with memory, story is always linked with story. A trunk is a space, a building, a cat house, a hidden place, a house of dreams. If time becomes non-linear one day, the world will be interlaced and in parallel across ages, am I able to invite Louis to visit a dream?”
Theo Curin, swimmer and Paralympics champion
“At the age of six I had my limbs amputated. Five years later, I learnt to swim despite my fear of water. I started in indoor swimming pools and soon became a Paralympic champion. Today I’d like to bring my swimming to natural waters, a challenge being to cross the river Titicaca. My trunk represents water going from an indoor pool to open water, showing the transition from clear calm water to the natural waves, incorporating a range of blue shades and reflections.”
Saskia de Brauw, artist and fashion model
“The glow of the moon and its possibilities to dream of otherworldly places has inspired people to do impossible things and to create imaginary journeys for the mind to travel. My daughter reminds me: “I resemble the moon, that is why my name is Luna”. When she was very young still and whenever she was not with me, I found moons and constellations of planets on the surface of the street. Looking at our surrounding in such a way shows possibilities for lightness, a momentary inner journey. Changing what is quotidian and normal ever so slightly so that it becomes something else. Following this new young life of my child is a journey in itself of love and lightness. This visual journey is an ode to my daughter who inspires me to always look at the world differently and to keep on travelling.”
Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton artistic director for jewellery and watches
“I imagined a small treasure trunk, magically absorbing huge jewels that dance and flow right into it. The change of scale reflects the power of objects showing how preciousness in one’s mind distorts scale in reality.”
Ozzy Wright, pro surfer, artist, filmmaker and musician
“My trunk is about a quest… I must travel to the volcano on Zombie Island and throw my trunk into it. It’s the only place hot enough in the world to open the trunk. Inside is the missing clue which will help me reach Dolphinity – a perpetual state of ecstatic joy, everlasting life and a million perfect barrels.”
Jean-Michel Othoniel, visual artist
“Trunk of Hope is a vessel coming from India. This pile of glass bricks, that have been blown in the region of the Taj Mahal, is inspired by the ones in clay you can find all along the roads of India. Those Amber stacks wait to be turned into homes. They are the dream that everyone has: to build your own house one day. This trunk is like a crystal shell that you can carry with you. I hope that through this project, I will be able to help people in India realise their dream.”
Thomasine Gloves, glove couturier
“A Song For Louis is a treasure box like a bird cage that could have kept a beautiful song bird, but where the Louis Vuitton maison recycled leather structure by itself becomes a visual melody for the eyes.”
“I’ve always pushed the boundaries of what’s possible. Across the years, I would take a borrowed phone, seal it in a glass bottle and walk off. When the Louis Vuitton team sent me the trunk to celebrate Mr Louis Vuitton’s 200th birthday, I knew exactly what to do. Working alongside their creative team, we achieved the impossible by putting the trunk inside a glass bottle. I’m honoured to be asked to help celebrate with the house and to create a moment of magic and mystery with a piece of art that will be sealed in time forever.”
Cao Fei, visual artist
“The magic of my box can be ‘triggered’ everywhere in the world. I hope you will come across the joy that it brings to your daily life on a street corner.”
More attention-grabbing trunks we love at Louis Vuitton’s 200 Trunks 200 Visionaries exhibition
Discover Louis Vuitton’s 200 Trunks 200 Visionaries exhibition at louis200.com or visit ap.louisvuitton.com to register for the Singapore show. This free public event is ongoing until April 27, from 10am to 10pm.
This story first appeared on Prestige Singapore
Yanni Tan began her journalistic career as a rookie reporter at a local newspaper, covering lifestyle, crime and education. She has since chalked up 20 years of writing and editing experience at a variety of women’s and luxury magazines, mainly in the features, travel, and watches and jewellery beats. She currently oversees both the print and digital editions of Prestige Singapore magazine, and has a keen interest in luxury lifestyle, environmental conservation, private wealth and corporate leadership.