FC Barcelona has collaborated with the China Academy of Art to produce a series of posters to mark the upcoming Chinese New Year that combine the club’s stars with traditional Chinese patterns and graphics.
It is the first time the CAA has partnered with a top European football club to release co-branded work, which will be distributed on official Barcelona channels later this week. Hupu Anchor, the official digital agency for Barcelona in China, conceptualised the idea and pitched and brokered the partnership.
Most posters feature five Barcelona football stars – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Antoine Grezmann and Lieke Martens – each with traditional Chinese symbols including dragons, qilins, lion dances and cranes. The visuals also include elements of the Peking Opera, the most famous form of Chinese opera, featuring characters with face painting and costumes. In the posters, Peking Opera facial make-up is tailored to each Barça player to represent their individual characteristics.
Toni Claveria, the head of Asia Pacific for Barcelona said: “Collaborating with a prestigious organisation such as the China Academy of Art gives our club the opportunity to learn about Chinese traditions, art and culture. Together, we’ve created a concept that is inspired by a shared, long-standing commitment to art in its various guises, whether that be on the football pitch at Camp Nou or in art school at the CAA. We hope that it resonates with our millions of fans in China and those around the world who celebrate Chinese New Year.”
Bi Xuefeng, the dean of the CAA’s school of design, said: “Since it was established 91 years ago, the China Academy of Art has become a world-class art school that has always promoted the development of Chinese art and is considered a ‘palace of art’ for art enthusiasts. This collaboration combines China’s most important festival, Chinese New Year and the world of football through Chinese patterns that transmit auspiciousness, blessings, wisdom, strength and bravery through creative posters. The collaboration serves to promote both the club and its players as well as traditional Chinese culture. It is a fusion of art and mutual cross-border learning of culture.”
Founded in 1928 as the first art academy in China, the CAA is renowned for its work in modern design, emphasising a combination of research of art and technology.