Wild beasts and cherry blossoms: Luckin teams up with UCCA for Henri Matisse collaboration

On the first day of work after the Chinese New Year holiday, Luckin Coffee announced its latest collaboration with the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, which comes with a collection of new packaging, gifts and merch inspired by the “Matisse by Matisse” exhibition at the gallery.

The collaboration also includes a cherry blossom latte in both coffee and decaf forms, along with a rose petal-filled cherry blossom Daifuku mochi. But as a recent survey suggests, the packaging, gifts and merch are equally, if not more important than the drink itself. And while only customers who purchase two or more drinks can get exclusive Matisse stickers, buying a mug set or knitted bags separately is open to everyone. On Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, the topic “Luckin Spring” (#瑞幸春日季#) amassed 10.86 million views.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a French artist best known for being a prominent figure in modern art and an important part of the Fauvist movement. Les Fauve means “the wild beasts” in French. He was, and still is, known for his “intense colourism”, and wild and fluid brushwork. The 2023 retrospective exhibition was held in collaboration with Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis. It was first shown at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing and recently moved to UCCA Edge in Shanghai before closing on 18 February.

In December, MANNER Coffee partnered with the Museum of Art Pudong for a Caravaggio-themed nut cookie latte. Art and exhibitions are considered the same lifestyle as coffee for the urban young, as museums and galleries tend to incorporate coffee shops. More importantly, both exhibitions and coffee collaborations have an emphasis on merch, which would make such team-ups very fitting. Matisse’s colour and shapes also complement the pinkish cherry blossom, creating the springy feeling of the new Luckin drinks. Those who missed out on the exhibition or haven’t had their fill of the merch will surely try to get their hands on one of the co-branded items.


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