Strong in the belief that art is the core creative pursuit of humanity, Hideyuki Sobue is an expert in conceptualising what humans see. Something that perfectly placed him to create the latest Whiskymaker’s Editions illustration.
A new Lakes Single Malt Whisky, Reflections is designed in collaboration with international award-winning chef/patron Simon Rogan to mark a moment of contemplation amid the natural autumnal beauty of the Lake District.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Simon’s restaurant group, it was while working at Rogan’s Our Farm in the Cartmel Valley, where the rhythms of the seasons are at their most apparent, that Hideyuki identified the inspiration for the Reflections artwork – the marigold flower. A plant close to Simon’s heart, the marigold is cherished not only for its great flavour and garnishing capabilities but also as a companion plant to help keep pests off other vegetables on the farm. It helps them to grow healthily.
An Osaka University of Arts graduate living and working in the English Lake District, Hideyuki Sobue has exhibited extensively throughout the UK and Japan and understands the ethos of Simon Rogan’s restaurant group.
Before we even had a name for the whisky, we knew we needed an artist to represent us in the right light and it wasn’t a long discussion. We’ve been in love with Hideyuki Sobue’s art for a long time, and we know him because his children have worked for us for many years. From time to time, Hideyuki also spends time at Our Farm. He enjoys being there, so it was an easy choice to work with him and his unique style of art.
Sam Ward, Managing Director of UMBEL, Simon Rogan’s restaurant group
For Reflections, Hideyuki knew immediately that he wanted to introduce flowers that are integral to Simon’s cooking and available at Our Farm. Creating a piece of art that will be exhibited in L’Enclume House and later auctioned in aid of charity, the marigold delivered inspiration.
In his distinct visual language, Hideyuki has brought to life the feeling of time spent reminiscing about past accomplishments, present triumphs, and endless possibilities that lie ahead using his own original brush hatching technique, employing Japanese Sumi ink and acrylic.
Created through a fusion of influences – the Florentine school of the Renaissance, oriental artistic heritage and neurological studies – the unique approach looks to bridge East and West by sampling the rich cultural, artistic and ideological legacy of both.
Like the contemporary single malt, Hideyuki’s art is grounded by a sense of place and stimulative of deep contemplation; a modern interpretation of a classic.