Li Wei

Campagne Artistique 2014/2015

Dans le cadre de sa nouvelle campagne, l’artiste et performeur Chinois Li Wei a souhaité photographier 40 des 18 000 femmes et hommes qui travaillent pour Pernod Ricard. Ils on été littéralement « élevés » par Li Wei sur des lieux emblématiques, berceaux des marques historiques du Groupe et solides fondations de son envol à la conquête du monde.

Ces 40 collaborateurs ont prêté à Li Wei plus qu’un visage : une envie de voir plus loin, plus grand, plus haut, animés par une passion commune pour leur univers, leur marque, leurs racines… Pour chacun d’entre eux, c’est une expérience inédite, une rencontre hors norme.
Li Wei a voulu capturer ici l’esprit d’un groupe qui célèbre cette année ses 40 ans, oscillant depuis toujours entre terroir, racines, audace, élévation et envol.

Entre héritage et rétrospective, les 40 ans de Pernod Ricard sont aussi vécus comme une année de mutation, avec la nomination d’Alexandre Ricard comme Président-directeur général. C’est un nouveau chapitre qui s’ouvre, une nouvelle histoire à écrire, une nouvelle “VISION” à embrasser.

Li Wei Interview

Do you feel stimulated or hampered by the idea of an assignment ? 

I accept an assignment only if I am sure of being able to preserve my freedom. Pernod Ricard gave me « carte blanche » and has put at my disposal a wonderful team and amazing places. Between Scot-land, Ireland, Spain, France and Sweden, I have produced in five countries, on their sites, tracing a part of Pernod Ricard’s history, with people of different cultures. I have really lived this project as an extraordinary experience, one of the most powerful ones to date.

Did you know Pernod Ricard before ?

No, but I was well briefed on the story of the Group, the specific characteristics of each site and each production process. When I started the project, I had all these technical, cultural and legacy information in mind when I imagined the photos. It is this understanding of the identity of the places that gave me the desire to sometimes integrate specific accessories linked to the places and local skills. In Ireland, for example, I used barrels serving for the maturation of Jameson whiskey. In Champagne, air balloons in the shape of bunches of grapes.

What was the reaction of Pernod Ricard employees to your proposition to fly ?

We started by Spain, and in the beginning, the five staff employees that I have photographed there were a bit shy. They were impressed by the equipment we used. But by the end of the day, they were very pleased and very relaxed. They even started to have lots of fun, making funny figures in the air and playing together. The same energy has gained the models everywhere I have been. The fact of hanging in mid-air gave them a feeling of freedom, creating a sort of emulation, even I would say exhilaration!

Pernod Ricard pays a lot of attention to the notions of conviviality and team spirit. Is this why we often see three, four, sometimes 6 persons together in your images ?

Yes, it is a collective adventure that has needed a feeling of confidence and trust among the participants. To gain this trust, I have proceeded step by step.  First of all I lifted up each person individually to let him/her get used to the sensation of being in the air. Then I lifted up all the participants together to let them find their balance together. Afterwards I directed them a bit like a choreographer.