Glenfiddich partners with BAFTA-winning Japanese artist Fantasista Utamaro to unveil their limited edition Grand Yozakura 29 Year Old scotch whisky through a digital art experience

April 14, 2023

Glenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, celebrates the arrival of the limited-edition Grand Yozakura 29 Year Old scotch whisky with a series of contemporary digital art installations designed by Japanese artist, director and designer, Fantasista ‘Uta’ Utamaro. The installations will appear in major airports in the months when cherry blossoms are in peak bloom. Participating airport spaces (Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong) will be showing one of four different artworks on a digital screen at a time. In addition, for a fully immersive experience, Taipei and Hong Kong wil have VR headsets that allow you to step into a one of its kind virtual gallery to view all four artworks up close alongside exclusive behind the scenes videos with Uta. For locations without oculus headsets, QR codes will be available for users to access the virtual gallery via their phones or desktop. Utamaro’s creations keep Yozakura at its heart; the celebration of the iconic Japanese cherry blossoms, viewed whilst illuminated at night. Passionate about integrating the beauty of Japanese culture into his work, taking inspiration from various other symbols of Japanese culture, Utamaro has applied his signature technicolour sensibilities to capture the essence of a cherry blossom in full bloom against a night sky. Joining the prestigious Grand Series range, Grand Yozakura is the first single malt scotch whisky finished in exceptionally rare Japanese ex-Awamori casks. A fusion of Scottish and Japanese distilling and paying homage to Japanese tradition and culture, the innovative release is inspired by Hanami - the ancient tradition where Japan appreciates the fleeting beauty of nature through the Sakura (cherry blossom). A time for renewal and optimism, the festival is best experienced illuminated after dark where it is known as the Yozakura or ‘night sakura’. Grand Yozakura champions the moment of fleeting beauty when Japanese cherry blossoms are admired under the light of the moon. Reflecting its namesake and the temporal nature of beauty, only a limited number of Grand Yozakura bottles are available globally. This fleeting moment captures a time where nature is honoured and this marriage of rare liquids, once gone, will never be replicated presenting the chance to experience a collision of cultures and flavours. Claudia Falcone, Glenfiddich Global Brand Director, said: “The Grand Series underpins Glenfiddich’s spirit of innovation and Grand Yozakura is no exception. It is perhaps the most ground-breaking expression to sit alongside the series so far, whilst also being the first limited edition release. Bringing together two scarce components accentuates the anticipation and sense of occasion, paying homage to the brand’s innovative nature when it comes to creating dynamic whiskies of the highest quality. We’re thrilled to be working with Utamaro on this project and his passion for creating pieces of art really demonstrate and reflect the rarity and spirit of the new liquid.” Within each installation, the digital screens will act as ever-changing canvases to draw in passers-by. In total, four distinct pieces of art have been created by Utamaro yet only one will be showcased at a time, with a new piece displayed each week to emphasise the fleetingness of its existence, harking back to Hanami. The four artworks are unique; each depicting the simple beauty of Yozakura but each incorporating a different different symbol of Japanese culture such as the imposing Sakasa Fuji mountain, the crane, the night sky and the playful Koi fish. The moving artworks come to life as you watch, where the digital animations evolve from inception to final form through a timelapse. This dynamic display of art and technology is a testament to Glenfiddich's commitment to innovation and creativity. Fantasista Utamaro said: “Creating this art, that showcases the beauty of Japanese culture, has been an honour. I like to push the boundaries of what people expect from traditional art; blending technicolour and manga-style to bring Japanese symbols of culture to life. I enjoyed using these digital artworks to represent elements of the Scottish and Japanese processes used to create the whisky itself such as the inclusion of the iconic Glenfiddich stag head incorporated with Yozakura.” The liquid is now available in select airports and countries worldwide from April and is presented in a beautifully crafted bottle. To learn more about Grand Yozakura, the artist and Glenfiddich visit and the virtual gallery can be viewed here.

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