A year after announcing its partnership with Frieze, the contemporary art fair, the luxury watch manufacturer renews this collaboration with a series of curated presentations that will activate their lounge. During Frieze New York, taking place May 17th through 21st at The Shed in Manhattan, Breguet will unveil the first iteration of a curatorial project conceived by the Seoul - and Paris - based independent curator Somi Sim, which will unfold across Frieze’s Fairs in London, Los Angeles, New York and Seoul throughout the year.
“This partnership with Frieze comes naturally: watchmaking is an art, and everyone that visits our lounge will see this. Our watchmaker on site will introduce the movements we create, and a guillocheur will demonstrate the art of the guilloche. Our visitors will see that Abraham-Louis Breguet was a designer and an artist, in addition to being an outstanding watchmaker. His pure and neo-classical style is still part of the brand’s DNA.”Lionel a Marca, Breguet’s CEO.
In addition to this diving into the watch making experience, the visitors will have the opportunity to discover our new collaboration with curator Somi Sim.
A piece of art
With each fair season, visitors will discover a new chapter of a year-round artistic project that gives “carte blanche” to an artistic collaborator. For its debut year, the Argentinian-born, UK-based artist Pablo Bronstein produced four unique wallpapers to transform the Breguet lounge spaces. The commissions portrayed Bronstein's response to Breguet’s world and heritage: exploring the interrelation of art, design, craft and technology through history.
For the second year of this partnership, Frieze and Breguet take a new approach, appointing curator Somi Sim to oversee four distinct curated displays in the Breguet lounges across the year. An independent curator based between Seoul and Paris, Sim’s curatorial practice engages history, urbanism, design and contemporary art. Upon visiting the Breguet manufacture and museum, Somi Sim was impressed by the know-how and meticulousness of the Breguet craftsmen, and was inspired by the complex engineering involved in the production of our perception of ‘time’. Setting the scene for the year-long project, the first chapter at Frieze New York is titled ‘Orbital Time’. Featuring works by international artists, including a bespoke installation by the renowned Raqs Media Collective, will challenge notions of standardized time. Reflecting on the art of watchmaking and Breguet's technical innovations, the presentation will frame horology as a landscape for exploration.
Somi Sim Biography
Somi Sim is an independent curator, researcher and writer based in Seoul and Paris. Her curatorial practice explores the interdisciplinary fields of urbanism, architecture, design, and contemporary art. She has been experimenting with a curatorial methodology that brings together research and practice in exhibitions, urban interventions, criticism, publishing, and collective activities. Her curatorial discourse speaks to the relationship between neoliberal urban transformation and art practice in architecture, urbanism and the humanities.
Her curatorial projects and exhibitions include Do You Miss the Future? (Hyundai Motorstudio Busan, 2021), Real-Real City (Arko Art Center, Seoul, 2019), 2018 Public Art Project: Ring Ring Belt (Donuimun Museum Village, Seoul, 2018), Against Architecture (SeMA Storage, Seoul, 2018), Order/Disorder (Post Territory Ujeongguk, Seoul, 2017), Micro City Lab (various sites in Seoul, 2016) and Mobile Home Project (Songwon Art Center, Seoul, 2014). She has served as the artistic director for the 2018 Public Art Project, a traveling public art project by the Gyeonggi Cultural Foundation, Korea. In recognition of her practice as a curator, she has been awarded the 2021 Young Artist of the Year Award (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea, 2021), the Hyundai Blue Prize Design 2021 (Hyundai Motor Company) and the Lee Dong Seok Curatorial Award 2018. She is an editorial board member of journal of cultural theories, ‘Culture/Science’ and also active in “Re-tracing Buro," an urban research collective with Julien Coignet. Her recent publications include Curating the Pandemic and Drifting Nearby: transition of the public in a post-pandemic city.
The art of watchmaking
Breguet has consistently distinguished itself at the forefront of watchmaking, thanks to the avant-garde spirit of its founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet. Whether in innovations such as the invention of the tourbillon or “the souscription watch” or in aesthetics with the introduction of guillochage in watchmaking or Breguet hands. In addition, many artists are part of the brand's clientele and some have even been inspired by Breguet in their works - such is the case of the painter Hans Erni who placed the founder of Breguet, Abraham-Louis, at the center of his work "Philosophy of the Measurement of Time".
Since then, Breguet has never ceased to appreciate art in all its forms, especially in its workshops in the Vallée de Joux of Switzerland where the brand's watchmakers continue a long tradition of expertise - particularly in the fields of engraving, angling, enamelling and guilloché.
Breguet’s lounge, accessible to the public on the 8th Floor at The Shed, will provide for a unique immersive experience: both through the different visions of time in Somi’s curation, but also through Breguet’s handcrafted timepieces – observing each watch handmade by expert watchmakers and their long hours of intensive labor within the manufacture. The space combines an artistic vision and the art of fine watchmaking.