18th BMW Art Car Utilizes Both Augmented And Virtual Reality

This year’s BMW Art Car #18 has features from VR and AR, and is designed by Chinese artist, Cao Fei.

19 world-renowned artists from all around the world have created BMW Art Cars since 1975, including Jeff Koons, John Baldessari, Olafur Eliasson, Andy Warhol and more.

This year, the BMW M6 GT3 race car appeared on stage, in a matte black color. The augmented -and virtual- reality technology transforms the vehicle, with a sculpture moving and dancing while the car gets in shape.

An internationally acclaimed Beijing-based artist, Cao Fei is the youngest and first Chinese artist to be in this collaboration.

Art Car #18 reflects on the high speed of societal change in China. Urbanization, parallel worlds and alienation have been the themes in her work, which refers to the spiritual dimension we can see in the project as a symbol.

Cao’s project is presented in three layers: a short film titled ‘Unmanned’, the carbon black race car and a free iOS app that employs both virtual and augmented reality. All of them can be seen simultaneously for a theatrical and interactive experience.

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 presence at the Art Car series addresses the use of mobility and digitalization, which draws parallels from current and future issues.