Wong Kar-wai was the first Chinese director to win the Best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival, with his film, Happy Together (1997). Throughout his career, he consistently challenged Hong Kong's local film scene.
This time Wong is back to make new waves in the arts and culture scene.
The award-winning director also realised the NFT’s popularity. He created a 91-second video, unseen footages from the film, In The Mood For Love (2000). It will be sold as NFT on 9 October.
Following Jay Chou’s collaboration with Sotheby’s earlier this year, the film director will be central figure in the second major sale on 10 October. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Wong’s production company, Jet Tone Films, 30 collectibles from Wong’s filmography career will be sold.
“In The Mood For Love – Day One” – NFT, 10-second teaser
Created in 2021 (Filmed in 1999)
Duration: 91 seconds in total
This unseen footage was originally filmed on 13 February 1999. In The Mood For Love was first screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000. It won the Grand Technical Prize, with protagonist Tony Leung awarded Best Actor (the first Hong Kong actor to win the award).
It will be sold in Sotheby's Modern Art Evening Sale on 9 October, and is also the first Asian film NFT to be offered in an auction sale.
“Today, we are able to eternalise this first day in a brand-new form. In the world of blockchain, this arrow can chart a new course,” said Wong.
Tony Leung playing Chow Mo-wan in the film, In The Mood For Love (2000). © Image: Jet Tone Films
The short film stars Tony Leung (Chow Mo-wan) and Maggie Cheung (Su Li-shen) as iconic lovers.
In 1962 Hong Kong, Chow Mo-wan, a journalist, and Su Li-shen, a secretary at a shipping company, rent neighbouring apartment rooms. Each has a spouse who works and often leaves them alone on overtime shifts. The two protagonists are often alone in their rooms due to the friendly presence of the Shanghainese landlady, Mrs. Suen, and their neighbours. Amicable at first, they develop feelings for each other, as they realise their spouses have an affair together.
Maggie Cheung playing Su Li-zhen in the film, In The Mood For Love (2000). © Image: Jet Tone Films
Heartbreak Tango – Yellow Jacket
Lesley Cheung's yellow jacket is highlighted in the film, Happy Together (1997). © Image: Wing Shya
Another highlight is the leather jacket worn by Leslie Cheung in the film, Happy Together (1997). It will also be part of the Modern Art Evening Sale held on 9 October.
Film scenes show Cheung wearing the leather jacket is a classic for fans. The jacket itself, preserved in the Jet Tone Archive since the film’s release 25 years ago, is in top condition.
In cinema, signature costumes are worn by movie stars. Marilyn Monroe’s white dress, Bruce Lee’s yellow tracksuit, Chow Yun-fat’s black trench coat are some key examples that come to mind.
“I have always kept this [Cheung's] yellow jacket, because it symbolises a memorable presence: tenderness, rebellion and solitude,” said Wong.
The film stars Leslie Cheung as Ho Po-wing, and Tony Leung as Lai Yiu-fai.
They play a homosexual couple from Hong Kong, with a relationship marked by frequent separations and reconciliations. They travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to amend their rapport, but soon separate after they become lost during a visit to Iguazu Falls. Both lacking the funds to return home, Lai works as a doorman at a tango bar, while Ho prostitutes himself.
Cheung and Leung shown together in the hustle and bustle of Buenos Aires
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Jet Tone Films, 30 objects are offered in the sale – chosen by Wong himself. Objects include props, costumes, posters, photographs and box sets.
Since its launch in 1991, Jet Tone Films kept an extensive archive documentation of Wong’s creative journey. This collection features the works of the Chinese film director’s collaborators – William Chang (Hong Kong costume designer), Christopher Doyle (Australian-Hong Kong cinematographer) and Wing Shya (Hong Kong-based photographer who works in the film, fashion and art industries).
Wong Kar Wai x Sotheby’s Hong Kong
- Modern Art Evening Sale: 9 October 2021
- WKW x Jet Tone Films 30th Anniversary: 10 October 2021