Photos Courtesy of Louis Vuitton and Hong Kong Museum of Art

In a massive installation piece, contemporary artist Richard Prince wrapped the entire Hong Kong Museum of Art in pulp fiction novel covers, making the museum itself into a signature installation, to kick-off of Le French May Arts Festival by Louis Vuitton.

The Hong Kong Museum Art in Tsim Sha Tsui will host an enormous exhibition called “A Passion for Creation” by Louis Vuitton opening May 22, with works from Richard Prince, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, who have all contributed to the Fondation Louis Vuitton Pour La Creation, plus there will be the unveiling of a scale model of Frank Gehry’s new architectural design intended to embody the spirit of the building he’s creating to house the Fondation Louis Vuitton Pour la Creation to be completed in 2012. Basically, this opening is a huge deal and will likely get covered to the extreme in the next week as it attracts celebs and fans not only of Louis Vuitton, but Takashi Murakami, Frank Gehry, Marc Jacobs, and others. It is also expected that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault will be on hand. (Interestingly, the company just announced today that it is taking over a minority stake in Edun, the fair-trade fashion label started by U2’s Bono’s wife).

Hong Kong Museum of Art wrapped in pulp fiction by artist Richard Prince

The Fondation Louis Vuitton Pour La Creation is part of an ongoing art and architectural project that Louis Vuitton created to build an innovative and powerful building that embodies the spirit of Louis Vuitton’s connection with the arts and commerce. The project of course, will take years to complete, but the scaled-model already has created an impression among art and architectural gurus globally, and given the brand additional credibility, if that’s even possible.

What the exhibition with the Hong Kong Museum of Art represents is another step by Louis Vuitton of bringing several different entities together and taking the French luxury brand to this next level of design. Collaborations have always been key for Louis Vuitton, as indicated by collabs with anime artist (and urban vinyl toy creator) Takashi Murakami, Madonna, and many others. Some believe however, that such collaborations can make the commerce aspect of the brand overshadow the purpose of the art, or disguise via art, the fact that this is one big Louis Vuitton advertisement. Definitely worth debating, especially since when it comes to youth culture, often such collaborations do provide credibility outside of the general market the brand was originally intended for. In this case, it’s stretching into long-term directions outside of a French luxury brand and art, but also now architecture. Bringing in Richard Prince, a highly influential and sometimes controversial artist to do his thing, which he, too, took to the next level by going so big as to actually wrap an entire museum (instead of having something inside), and in pulp fiction covers no less–reading material often associated with cheap, gossipy, lowerclass citizens–just heightens the high-lo aspect of the “Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation” concept to the extreme.

Collaboration patterns with Louis Vuitton