Jay Chou: ‘Greatest Works of Art’ is Star’s most ambitious project

Jay Chou likes to think big. His latest musical release, “Greatest Works of Art,” isn’t just the Mando-pop king’s first full-length album after a six-year hiatus. The album’s elaborate international production of its self-titled debut single and accompanying music video, features “cameos” from some of the biggest names in art history.

This sets up Chou well for his next creative chapter: an art film.

“This clip has received a lot of good feedback, especially from the French Tourist Office, so I will consider preparing a film project that tells a story around an artist. I could also direct it,” Chou told Variety. Although they appeared in Hollywood films such as “The Green Hornet” as Kato, superhero blockbusters are no longer a hit.

“If I had to make a film, I would create my own style of art film. Of course, you also have to consider the commercial market,” he said.

The new ambition of the mega pop star – also a music composer, producer, actor and film and music video director – should come as no surprise. Chou demonstrated his potential as a storyteller and filmmaker with his acclaimed 2007 debut film, “Secret,” and most recently by hosting a contemporary art auction with Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.

Sales of the 12-track album in Mandarin “Greatest Works of Art” have already been very successful since its release in mid-July. It sold 5 million copies in China in its first week, breaking the single-region sales record set by Adele’s ’25’, which sold 3.38 million copies in the United States in 2015. Chou’s album has also sold over 200,000 copies in the star’s native Taiwan. .

The single’s music video racked up over 17 million views on YouTube in three weeks, while second single “Still Wandering” racked up over 9.8 million views in two weeks. The latest single, “You Are The Firework I Missed” has racked up nearly 3.2 million views just two days after its July 27 release. Media forecasts estimate that sales of the album could challenge the annual sales record of 10 million copies, and put it on track to be the world’s best-selling album this year.

The production of this new album also reveals Chou’s ambition to take his creative career further on the world stage. He sees Chou singing in Mandarin in his signature R&B groove, which often incorporates classical music, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, contemporary pop and Chinese sensibilities, as has been the case since his debut album. 2000 sensational, “Jay”. But the production of the new album and its videos involved more international collaborations. Some were shot in the United States

Chou teamed up with internationally acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang and award-winning Taiwanese American violinist Ray Chen for the title track “Greatest Works of Art,” which aims to pay homage to some of history’s most important artists. Chen plays the violin solo composed by Chou. “I hope to make classical listeners feel that pop and classical can be a perfect combination,” the star said.

“When I first heard about this piece, I thought it was really interesting because there are elements of classical music combined with the world of pop,” Chen said in a statement. video interview. “It’s a fun project to be involved in.”

Chou directed the time travel music video for “Greatest Works of Art”, which is basically a short film with a complete plot, and which may have given Chou the confidence to now launch a feature film on the art.

Filmed in Paris at the Samaritaine department store, the king of Mando-pop disguises himself as a security guard to sneak into the historic building and play a magical piano that transports him and his sidekick from the present day to the capital. French of the 1920s. There he met some of the greatest artists of the 20th century, including the surrealists Salvador Dalí and René Magritte, Claude Monet, the Sino-French painter Sanyu and the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo.

In Chou’s imagination, these artists are enchanted by his magic tricks and have been inspired to create the classic works that have left a mark on art history – everything from Dali’s melting clocks in “The Persistence of Memory” (1931), to Magritte’s “The Son of Man” (1964) and Monet’s paintings of water lilies.

“In these wild times, as the king of music, I think I don’t need a picture frame,” he sings. “My musical notes are all the future of art.” He also encounters a mysterious pianist played by Lang, who challenges Chou to a musical battle.

The plot of the music video involves considerable research into the history of art, artists, Paris and magic, the star noted. He also fills in the gaps in the story with pieces of his own imagination, and he invents connections between the artists. “You can imagine if literati and artists got together at that time, what would they be like, drawing something for each other?” He asked.

Before fitting into the film, Chou is set to take his music on the road as the post-pandemic world opens up. He is set to take his Carnival World Tour to Singapore in December, followed by a show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which has been postponed to January 2023, due to COVID-related delays.