The BMW Art Car for the first time designed by a Chinese artist
Following the contributions by Jeff Koons and John Baldessari, Cao Fei is the youngest (born in 1978) and first Chinese artist ever to create a BMW Art Car.
By employing augmented and virtual reality, the internationally acclaimed Chinese multimedia artist addresses the future of mobility such as autonomous driving, airborne cars and digitalization. In the presence of Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, and hundreds of invited guests, the reveal of the 18th creation of the BMW Art Car collection was celebrated at the Minsheng Art Museum in Beijing on May 31.
Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG:
“We were thrilled by the decision of an independent jury of international museum directors to have nominated Cao Fei. Considered as a lucky number in China, her vehicle is the official 18th rolling sculpture of the collection. For her project, Cao Fei chose an unprecedented and immersive approach, empowering the viewer to engage with the artwork through cutting-edge technology. This is truly a BMW Art Car for the 21st century!”
Cao Fei commented upon her BMW Art Car:
“To me, light represents thoughts. As the speed of thoughts cannot be measured, the #18 Art Car questions the existence of the boundaries of the human mind. We are entering a new age, where the mind directly controls objects and where thoughts can be transferred, such as unmanned operations and artificial intelligence. Which attitudes and temperaments hold the key to opening the gateway to the new age?”
Cao Fei’s work is a reflection on the speed of change in China, on tradition and future. With her BMW Art Car project, she delves into a trajectory spanning thousands of years, paying tribute to Asia’s ancient spiritual wisdom as it swiftly spreads out into the third millennium. The multimedia artist approached the BMW Art Car in a way typical for her artistic practice, building a parallel universe. The body of work consists of three different components: a video focusing on a time traveling spiritual practitioner, augmented reality features picturing colorful light particles, accessible via a dedicated app (App Store: keyword “BMW Art Car #18”), and the BMW M6 GT3 racecar in its original carbon black. Paying tribute to the carbon fiber structure of the racecar chassis, Cao Fei’s holistic use of a non-reflective black incorporates the car into the possibilities of the digital world.
According to BMWBlog, the 18th BMW Art Car was revealed in the presence Olaf Kastner (President and CEO of BMW Group, China Region), Jens Marquardt (BMW Motorsport Director), Augusto Farfus (BMW Works driver) and Fan Di’an (President of China Central Academy of Fine Arts).