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BMW Art Car 18 by Cao Fei

“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

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Cao Fei takes the series into the 21st century by creating the first digital BMW Art Car. Her work is a reflection on the speed of change in China, on tradition and future. With her BMW Art Car project, Cao Fei 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.

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Cao Fei is one of the most innovative young Chinese artists to have emerged onto the international scene. Currently living in Beijing, she mixes social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism, and documentary conventions in her films and installations. She exhibited her works and projects in Serpentine Gallery, Tate Modern (London); New Museum, Guggenheim Museum, MoMA PS1 (New York); Palais de Tokyo and Centre Pompidou (Paris). Furthermore, Cao Fei received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) Best Young Artist Award in 2006 and Best Artist Award in 2016; Piedra de Sal Award at Cuenca Biennale in 2016.