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Into the Wild – Panthère de Cartier

27 October 2021 - 14 November 2021



Fascinating, feline, feminine – no other piece of jewellery over the past century has captured the imagination so powerfully and evocatively as Panthère de Cartier. Gracefully transported untamed from the jungle to prowl high jewellery, watches and collectables, as well as handbags, eyewear and fragrances, the panther is the Maison’s most recognised and beloved icon. Its might and magnificence, the woman who inspired it, and the savoir-faire that brought it to life are celebrated in a major experience, Into The Wild, staged at the K11 MUSEA Art & Cultural Centre from 27 October to 14 November.

Into The Wild does just that, presenting a path of discovery into the wonders of the Panthère universe. It ventures beyond a conventional visual experience into the realm of immersive theatre – free from restraint, full of potent spectacle and spellbinding beauty like the restless panther herself. Within a series of interconnected chambers, the evolution of the iconic jewel, the creatives and crafts behind it, the impassioned tribe of Panthére devotees, and important pieces from the extensive collections are revealed through a vibrant interaction of digital, actual, sensory and tactile artistry.

To reach the treasures, visitors undertake a journey of exploration designed to stimulate the senses. The extensive lair includes a mirrored corridor along which the shadow of the panther beckons, a hub where big screens relay the jewel’s timely evolution, the “Panthermania” portrait hall of illustrious aficionados, and a fun photo opportunity with a giant 3D panther head. They also face a choice of tunnels reflecting the panther’s three stylised realisations: should they enter a graphic golden framework with hints of its emerald-green eyes, explore a storm of abstract shapes, or take a naturalist stroll between coated walls of spotted fur?

Calm sanctuaries within the multisensory installation allow for periods of contemplation. In the office of La Panthère herself, the visionary Jeanne Toussaint, the life and times of Cartier’s first female Creative Director – who revolutionised sculptural jewellery – are projected. Guarded by an imposing pair of bejewelled panthers, an octagonal space displays archival finds, designers’ sketches and craftsmen’s tools to illustrate the heritage and finesse of the collections. The enduring vitality of each precious piece is achieved by a creative and technical dialogue – the Cartier savoir-faire – between the Maison’s designers, sculptors, casters, jewellers, gemologists, gem cutters, polishers and setters, who work together using techniques from the past, in the present, to create the high jewellery of the future. Each minute detail breathes life into the animal: the proprietary “fur” setting technique that replicates its silky coat; the spacing and proportion of the eyes that determine its character; and the detail afforded each tiny ear, which is polished on the inside and pavé-set without.

The Cartier panther was first sighted as abstract spots on a watch in 1914, and soon became a figurative statement, depicted on a vanity case given by Louis Cartier to Toussaint, who embodied, and then mentored, the jewel’s indomitable spirit. The exotic feline became her personal signature, and as her career progressed, from designing accessories to directing the Paris design studio, she gave it movement and personality.

The Panthère appeared as a sculptural silhouette on a ring in the 1930s, and in 1948 made its full-figured three-dimensional debut on a brooch of yellow gold, black enamel and emeralds crafted for the Duchess of Windsor. Since then, the panther has constantly reinvented itself through successive collections, from the guise of two-headed rings and bangles, to the more stylised sculpting of the early 21st century, to panther-motif watch faces, to today’s highly sensual expressions. Instinctively paying homage to nature, the pieces are variously abstract, graphic or naturalist as they embrace the essence of the panther.

A new and exclusive limited collection of Panthère de Cartier will be unveiled at the Hong Kong chapter of Into The Wild. Rings of yellow gold embracing a glowing stone of citrine and pink tourmaline hugged by pink gold, along with matching earrings, nod to the panther’s fierce femininity; strong, steadfast and tender, she protects those dear to her. As playful incarnations of the classic centre-stone ring, they also echo the rich history of the jewel, which captivated connoisseurs, wrote its own story and left its footprint to become the very symbol of Cartier.

Into The Wild opens with a week of by-invitation previews before welcoming the general public on 1 November. Online registration is required and for more details, please visit https://cartier-event.hk/en.

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