Driving into the art world

By Anna Tang
If you were at this year’s Hong Kong International Art Fair, you would have seen on display the vibrant 17th BMW Art Car with an exterior filled with power, motion and bursting energy. For the first time, BMW Hong Kong managed to bring this stunning art piece created by Jeff Koons to car enthusiasts and art lovers in Hong Kong.

Using the BMW M3 GT2 race car body as a canvas, Koons’ powerful design creates a dynamic appearance to the art car even when it’s standing still.

As a global leader in premium automobiles, the BMW Group not only concentrates on advanced technologies and designing innovative and aesthetic products, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in more than 100 cultural cooperation worldwide. Besides architecture and design (as well as classical music and jazz), contemporary art is an integral part of BMW Group’s cultural engagement. BMW Group has been actively supporting art and cultural programmes around the world for over 40 years.

The BMW Art Car programme is an integral part of such engagement, standing for the symbiosis of art, technology and mobility.

Since 1975, 17 artists from all over the world including Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, AR Penck, David Hockney and Olafur Eliasoon have been designing the BMW automobiles of their era. The 17th BMW Art Car by Jeff Koons was finished in 2010. After taking part in the famous Le Mans 24 Hours Endurance Race in June, the car is ready for exhibition. With the support from BMW AG (our headquarters in Germany), we were able to bring this marvelous art piece to Hong Kong as its first stop in Asia.

ARTHK11 has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and it is definitely one of the most eagerly anticipated art events here in Hong Kong. It promotes the aesthetic elements in our brand value and being a part of it marks a great achievement of BMW in promoting cultural and art projects globally. The feedback from the public has been highly positive. The project has generated much media hype. ARTHK11 visitors were thrilled to see such a stunning art piece from BMW.

In fact, the responses were extremely overwhelming, and we have managed to extend the exhibiting period of the art car in Hong Kong. Following ARTHK11, the art car was displayed at the BMW showroom in Wan Chai for an extra month, giving more opportunities for the local art lovers to see this stunning art piece.

Riding on the opportunity, we also brought forward another spin-off project which involved a group of local artists “upcycling” BMW auto parts, and turning them into stylish furniture art pieces. Later this year, BMW Hong Kong will hold a charity auction for these art pieces and all revenue generated will be used to support local young artists by scholarships.

The use of abandoned auto parts is already an environmentally friendly initiative, as wastage is turned into aesthetically pleasing art pieces. While giving BMW auto parts a second life, we are also bringing motoring art into people’s everyday life.

It has always been one of the company’s missions to support art and cultural projects, and we always seek to collaborate and explore new initiatives. With this great beginning at ARTHK11, sit tight and feast your eyes as we bring more new impacts to the Hong Kong art scene.

Anna Tang is marketing manager of BMW Hong Kong