For this year’s film restoration partnership with Shanghai International Film Festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre turns its attention to a 1994 film that depicts the trials and tribulations of Chinese painter, Pan Yuliang.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has worked tirelessly with Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) to restore classic films in Chinese cinema for eight years.

Among the titles that have been given a fresh coat of paint for a new generation of film enthusiasts were the two-part epic A Spring River Flows East, Stage Sisters about two sisters divided by political beliefs, John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow and C’est La Vie, Mon Cheri, a Derek Yee romance classic starring Anita Yuen and Lau Ching Wan.

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At the recent 21st SIFF, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled the restored version of Painting Soul that tells the legendary life Chinese artist Pan Yuliang, played by Gong Li, who was the first woman in China to paint in Western style.

Directed by female Chinese filmmaker Huang Shuqin, the restoration was aided by her son, director Zheng Dasheng. Degradation and blinking issues were corrected while clarity, image contrast and painting texture were improved, giving the film renewed vibrancy.

The movie was based on a novel by Shi Nan and portrays Pan from when she was working in a brothel to her ascendance in the art world. Praised for her innovative fusion of Chinese ink-wash painting and Western-style composition, Pan studied in Shanghai, Paris, Lyons and Rome before returning to Shanghai to teach.

However, due to hostility from colleagues, she left for Paris soon after, where she would live until her death in 1977. Most of her art are back in China, as per her wish in her will, where they are on display at Anhui Museum in Anhui Province, her hometown.

Time and passion for cinema

Jaeger-LeCoultre has created a unique timepiece that was auctioned off at a charity gala at the 21st SIFF to benefit its film restoration initiative.

This year, the watch in question was Rendez-Vous Night & Day Tribute to Cinema Pièce Unique SIFF 2018 crafted in rose gold case set with diamonds and matched with an elegant red dial and an alligator strap. The automatic movement powers a distinctive day-and-night indicator at ‘6’.

Up close with Jaeger-LeCoultre's high jewellery watches

The Swiss maison also presented the Glory to the Filmmaker Award to actress and director Joan Chen at the recent SIFF. Glory to the Filmmaker Award began at the Venice International Film Festival, of which Jaeger-LeCoultre is the official partner, and it honours filmmakers who have brought outstanding innovation to filmmaking.

This is the first time that Jaeger-LeCoultre presented this award at SIFF.