Cover Singer Jay Chou, as seen in his Greatest Work of Art music video

Shot in Paris, Mandopop singer Jay Chou’s Greatest Works of Art music video stirs out a sense of wonder and wanderlust; be sure to visit these architectural landmarks and stylish dining venues the next time you’re in the city

If you haven’t already heard, Taiwanese pop sensation Jay Chou recently released a brand new album after a six-year hiatus. Greatest Works of Art pays homage to critically acclaimed modern artists and their work, including the likes of Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani, Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali, and Chinese romantic poet Xu Zhimo. 

And in the music video of the titular track, “Greatest Works of Art”, numerous stunning Parisian landmarks have also been featured in ways that inspire a sense of wanderlust. Just as the album name suggests, the art seen in the music video isn’t just limited to paintings. While the City of Light is known for its museums and art traditions, nothing can quite define a city like its architecture.

In case you missed spotting these heritage sites, we list the four architectural landmarks that make an appearance in his music video. 

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Above Greatest Works of Art, the track of the same titled album by Mandpop singer Jay Chou

1. La Samaritaine

In the opening sequence of the music video, a glimpse of the luxury Parisian department store La Samaritaine is seen distinctly with its bold lettering on its exterior facade. This boutique store was founded in 1870 by merchant Ernest Cognacq and his wife, Marie-Louise Jay. 

To transform La Samaritaine into a modern structure while at the same time retaining its original architectural design, a group of firms worked on its 17-year-long restoration. The renovation was led by Japan-based architecture firm SANAA, alongside French architecture firms Francois Brugel Architectes Associes, LAGNEAU Architectes, and SRA Architectes; Canadian design firm Yabu Pushelberg re-designed the interiors.

Certain new features like incorporating terrazzo to mimic the cobblestone streets were added, and the railing of the grand staircase railing is gilded with 16,000 gold leaves. 

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The luxury department store also houses a variety of dining venues including Voyage, which is located on the fifth floor and set against La Samaritaine’s iconic peacock fresco. It features an interior designed by architectural firm Jean-Michel Wilmotte et Associés, and features three seating areas that include an informal space that looks out towards the Seine river.

2. Le Train Bleu

Situated in the Gare de Lyon railway station, the French restaurant Le Train Bleu pays homage to Calais-Mediterranée Express, the iconic French luxury express train that operated between 1886 to 2003; the restaurant's name loosely translates to “The Blue Train”.

It features ornate art nouveau-style architectural elements characterised by arches and floral motifs. Plus, the restaurant has 41 beautiful murals that depict scenes of the destinations covered by PLM (Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée), the railroad company which built the restaurant.

3. Cafe de la Rotonde

Located in the south of Paris, the artistic district of Montparnasse is known for historic bistros. One notable location to mention is Cafe de la Rotonde, nicknamed the artistic hub of the world during this period.

Victor Libion founded this cafe in 1911, and artists including Pablo Picasso and Federico Cantú, frequented the space. The cafe still carries its original charm with its striking red and gold interiors that will transport you back in time. 

4. The Eiffel Tower

As seen in the opening sequence of Jay Chou video, the iconic Eiffel tower is an unmissable sight in the City of Light. What you might not know: 107 design proposals were considered before Gustave Eiffel's idea was selected.

The monument, defined by its open-lattice wrought iron, was manufactured in Eiffel's factory in a city named Levallois-Perret. The choice of material also had a meaning as Gustave wanted to demonstrate that metal could be as strong as stone. Its presence travels far and wide too. With its fame as a tourist attraction, the tower's silhouette has inspired several other replicas worldwide.

Another fun tidbit: the wrought iron tower houses the stunning Le Jules Verne restaurant. Featuring an interior realised by Aline Asmar d’Amman of Paris and Beirut-based studio Culture in Architecture, the restaurant references the industrial beauty of the Eiffel Tower with its use of materials and interior architectural elements.

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