Cognac brand Hennessy is welcoming the Year of the Dragon with a limited edition bottle collection designed by Chinese artist Yang Yongliang.

Yongliang originally created a digital art piece called ‘Dragon’s Odyssey’, with the dragon created for the work being reimagined to create three different bottles for Hennessy’s three Cognac expressions, VSOP, XO and Paradis.

The artwork combines traditional drawings with digital art, with a three-dimensional element that brings out the texture of the dragon’s skin and teeth.

Yongliang grew up in an old water town in Greater Shanghai and was trained in traditional Chinese landscape painting. He later went to college in central Shanghai to study digital and three-dimensional art.

“The dragon has always been a theme that I go back to and a theme that I’ve cared about throughout the years of training as well as in my practices as an artist,” he told The Spirits Business.

In suburban Shanghai, there is an area called Huilong Garden, which directly translates to ‘dragon gathering pond’ and features a traditionally designed Chinese garden with many dragon motifs.

“I believe that’s where I first got a connection with dragons, even before I started pursuing anything creative,” Yongliang explained. “So I was super thrilled when Hennessy first reached out to me, because dragons are something that I have cared about throughout my whole life – even before I had a career in art. It was a perfect opportunity.”

The idea of the dragon is powerful for both Yongliang’s work and Hennessy, with the artist explaining that “it’s such a traditional motif. The core value of my artistic pursuit is to renew things that are traditional – and I find the same idea resonates with Hennessey’s concept. The liquor is extremely traditional, but also contemporary.”

Laurent Boillot, Hennessy’s CEO, said; “Hennessy has a deep connection with the Chinese culture, as we have 163 years of shared history. We are delighted to celebrate the majestic Year of the Dragon.

“The artistic genius of Yang Yongliang seamlessly blends traditional Chinese art and legend with modern mediums and digital photography. He brings to life powerful, legendary dragons.

“We’re very excited to launch our limited-edition collection globally and to welcome this New Year with our Hennessy friends and family.”