Since 1975 a number of artists from all over the world have created BMW Art Cars on the basis of contemporary BMW automobiles. The collection was inaugurated when French race car driver and art aficionado Hervé Poulain in collaboration with then current BMW Motorsport Director Jochen Neerpasch asked his artist friend Alexander Calder to design a car.

This year, Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei is the youngest and first Chinese artist ever to create the BMW Art Car. In the presence of Dr Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, and hundreds of invited guests, the reveal of BMW Art Car #18 -- the BMW M6 GT3 racecar -- was celebrated at the Minsheng Art Museum in Beijing, China yesterday.

By employing augmented and virtual reality, the internationally acclaimed artist addresses the future of mobility such as autonomous driving, airborne cars and digitalization. “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?” Fei said.

Cao Fei’s work is a reflection on the speed of change in China, on tradition and future. Paying tribute to Asia’s ancient spiritual wisdom, the artist approached the BMW Art Car in a way typical for her artistic practice, by 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, and the BMW M6 GT3 racecar in its original carbon black. Paying tribute to the carbon fiber structure of the racecar chassis, the use of non-reflective black incorporates the car into the possibilities of the digital world.

You can look forward to this 2017 BMW M6 GT3 Art Car debuting at the FIA GT World Cup in Macau, China this November 2017.

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