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Lu Yang selected for next BMW Art Journey. Shanghai-based artist to explore human mimicry of robots by capturing the movements of dancers in Indonesia, India, and Japan.

Munich/Basel. Art Basel and BMW are delighted to present Lu Yang as the next BMW Art Journey winner. An international jury selected Lu Yang unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Discoveries sector at this year’s Art Basel show in Hong Kong. Lu Yang is represented by the gallery Société in Berlin.

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Munich/Basel. Art Basel and BMW are delighted to present Lu Yang as the next BMW Art Journey winner. An international jury selected Lu Yang unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Discoveries sector at this year’s Art Basel show in Hong Kong. Lu Yang is represented by the gallery Société in Berlin.

Lu Yang’s BMW Art Journey “Human Machine Reverse Motion Capture Project” is concerned with how the human body can be trained to overcome its physical limitations. Her research will explore the deployment of the human body in historical and present-day cultures, looking at traditional and contemporary dances practiced in Indonesia, India, and Japan. Steeped in the latest digital technologies, Lu Yang will employ sophisticated motion capture devices to record the dancers’ gestures, including facial, finger- and eye-capture techniques that can collect and analyze the subtlest body movements, and will mimic these using robotic technologies.

In Legong, a traditional Balinese dance, for example, movement is controlled to such a degree that dancers are able to manipulate their finger joints individually. The facial and eye movements of India’s Kathakali dancers resemble the workings of sensors and motors in advanced humanoid robots. A similar robotic precision is expressed in the Japanese pop dances. Thus, Lu Yang’s BMW Art Journey links traditional and modern cultural forms to radically transformative contemporary technologies. In a larger sense, it will look into how we negotiate our evolving relationship with machines that may ultimately surpass our human limitations. 

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to start a project that I’ve always wanted to do. The BMW Art Journey gives a great starting point for long-term research projects. This is not just an art journey. It will be a wonderful start for me to open a new chapter of my creation. I am very much looking forward to this future collaboration and the art-making after this journey. I would also like to thank the gallery Société in Berlin for fully supporting me”, says Lu Yang.

The international jury consisted of Claire Hsu, Director, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, Director, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Philip Tinari, Director Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing; and Samson Young, artist and winner of the first BMW Art Journey.

“What we found exciting about Lu Yang’s proposal and work,” the jury noted in its statement, “is the way she draws connections across time, space, and geography – traversing different realms – from Kathakali and Legong dance to Japanese pop with our potential future robotic selves. She demonstrates that humanity’s search for an answer to why we are here is continuous – it just takes different forms.” The proposed BMW Art Journey evokes urgent dilemmas in today’s society, the jury noted. “We appreciated the idea that the vocabulary within the database used for robotic human expressions would be expanded to include the expressions found in multiple traditions – a much needed expansion of reference points in today’s world.”

Lu Yang was announced as the next BMW Art Journey winner at the BMW Cocktail Reception during Art Basel in Basel. Art Basel and BMW will collaborate with the artist to document the journey and share it with a broader public through print publications, online and social media.

In addition to Lu Yang, the shortlisted artists from the Discoveries sector for emerging artists at Art Basel in Hong Kong were: Clarissa Tossin (represented by Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles) and Shen Xin (represented by Madeln Gallery, Shanghai).

Launched in 2015, the BMW Art Journey is a collaboration between Art Basel and BMW, created to recognize and support emerging artists worldwide. The unique award is open to artists who are exhibiting in the Discoveries sector during Art Basel in Hong Kong. A judging panel comprised of internationally renowned experts meet first to select a shortlist three artists from the sector, who are then invited to submit proposals for a journey aimed to further develop their ideas and artistic work. The jury reconvenes to choose a winner from the three proposals.

The BMW Art Journey has been awarded seven times to date. Previous winners include: sound and performance artist Samson Young (presented by a.m. Space, Hong Kong at Art Basel's Hong Kong show in 2015), who represented Hong Kong at the 2017 Venice Biennale; German video artists Henning Fehr and Philipp Rühr (presented by Galerie Max Mayer, Dusseldorf at Art Basel's Miami Beach show in 2015); British artist Abigail Reynolds (presented by Rokeby, London at Art Basel's show in Hong Kong in 2016) as well as Max Hooper Schneider (presented by High Art, Paris at Art Basel's Miami Beach show in 2016), Astha Butail (presented by GALLERYSKE, New Dehli, Bangalore at Art Basel´s Hong Kong show in 2017), Jamal Cyrus (presented by Inman Gallery, Houston at Art Basel´s Miami Beach show in 2017), and Zac Langdon-Pole (presented by Michael Lett, Auckland at Art Basel’s show in Hong Kong in 2018).

BMW is a global partner of Art Basel and has supported Art Basel’s three shows in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong for many years.

For further information about the artist and the project, please visit:
www.bmw-art-journey.com

For further questions please contact:
Prof. Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs
Head of Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382 247 53

www.press.bmwgroup.com
Email: presse@bmw.de

Dorothee Dines
Art Basel
Global Head of Media Relations
Telephone: +41 58 206 27 06
Email: dorothee.dines@artbasel.com


Lu Yang at Société, Berlin
Lu Yang (b. 1984) is a Shanghai-based multi-media artist, who graduated from the New Media Art Department of the China Academy of Art. Deeply immersed in the subcultures of anime, video games, and Science-Fiction, the output of her artistic practice spans 3D-animated films, video game-like installations, holograms, neon, VR and software manipulation, often with overt Japanese manga and anime references. Lu Yang has created unique fantasies highlighting the fragility of humankind. Departing from Buddhist teachings that propagate a genderless society, she exploits her own images as a vehicle to reproduce asexual visions of herself. Her work was displayed in exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris; M Woods, Beijing; Shanghai Biennale; and Athens Biennale.

About Art Basel
Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world's premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, which is reflected in its participating galleries, artworks presented, and the content of parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. Art Basel’s engagement has expanded beyond art fairs through a number of new initiatives such as Art Basel Cities, working with partner cities on bespoke cultural programs. For further information, please visit artbasel.com.

About BMW Group Cultural Engagement
For almost 50 years now, the BMW Group has initiated and engaged in over 100 cultural cooperations worldwide. The company places the main focus of its long-term commitment on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972, three large-scale paintings were created by the artist Gerhard Richter specifically for the foyer of the BMW Group's Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have co-operated with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari created the next two vehicles for the BMW Art Car Collection. Besides co-initiatives, such as BMW Tate Live, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for All” concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London, the company also partners with leading museums and art fairs as well as orchestras and opera houses around the world. The BMW Group takes absolute creative freedom in all its cultural activities – as this initiative is as essential for producing groundbreaking artistic work as it is for major innovations in a successful business.

Further information: www.bmwgroup.com/culture and www.bmwgroup.com/culture/overview
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The BMW Group
With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services. The BMW Group production network comprises 31 production and assembly facilities in 15 countries; the company has a global sales network in more than 140 countries.

In 2018, the BMW Group sold over 2,490,000 passenger vehicles and more than 165,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the financial year 2018 was € 9.815 billion on revenues amounting to € 97.480 billion. As of 31 December 2018, the BMW Group had a workforce of 134,682 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain, comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

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