La Samaritaine Makes Cameo in Jay Chou Music Video, Causing China Online Frenzy

SHANGHAI — Paris’ legendary department store La Samaritaine made a cameo in top singer Jay Chou’s newly released music video, causing an online frenzy in China.

As one of the most popular singers in the Chinese-speaking world, Chou on Wednesday released the music video for his new single “Greatest Works of Art,” a “Midnight in Paris” sort of time-travel fantasy, set in the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned department store.

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The artist name-dropped La Samaritaine in the first line of the song’s lyrics.

Jay Chou performing in his music video “Greatest Works of Art,” filmed inside La Samaritaine back in 2019. - Credit: Screenshot


Hours after the release, the hashtag Greatest Works of Art has garnered more than 230 million clicks on Weibo, received 1.74 million clicks on YouTube, and was played more than 2.66 million times on Bilibili, with more than 200,000 people viewing it at the same time.

The department store reopened in June 2021 after a 16-year renovation. The group bought a majority share in La Samaritaine in 2001 and raised its stake to 100 percent in 2010. LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, invested 750 million euros in renovating the location into a mixed-use space including a Cheval Blanc hotel, offices, low-income housing and a day care center.

The music video starts with a bird’s-eye view of the department store at night, quickly panning to Chou discovering a piano inside the store. As he starts playing, time shifts back to the 1920s, where he encounters local artists and their works in the era, including René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Oscar-Claude Monet and French Chinese painter Sanyu.

Hannah Quinlivan and Jay Chou attend the Chanel Cruise 2020 collection. - Credit: Getty Images for Chanel

Getty Images for Chanel

The 43-year-old singer from Taiwan revealed in June that his long-awaited album, “Greatest Works of Art,” will be released on July 15. It’s his first studio album in six years. It includes one piano intro and 11 songs, six of which are new, and the rest are singles Chou released in the past few years, such as “Mojito,” which is one of the most viral songs on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

According to a behind-the-scenes documentary, the music video was shot in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

It seems that the singer probably completed the filming around the same time he visited Paris between May and June 2019. He first went to the Chanel cruise 2020 show with his wife Hannah Quinlivan.

The couple attended the wedding of pianist Lang Lang, who made a surprise appearance in the music video, and Gina Alice at Shangri-La hotel weeks later, alongside Chrissy Teigen and John Legend.

Hannah Quinlivan, Jay Chou, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend attend pianists Lang Lang and Gina Alice wedding at Shangri-La Hotel on June 2, 2019, in Paris. - Credit: Getty Images for Moet Henessy

Getty Images for Moet Henessy


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