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Andy Warhol’s BMW Art Car on display at Nijo Castle and at BMW Group Tokyo Bay

Cultural Issues

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Juan Bernardo Vazquez Mellado
BMW Group

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Kyoto. Once again showing their ongoing support of cultural engagement projects, BMW Group Japan has committed to a major long-term collaboration with KYOTOGRAPHIE, Kyoto’s International Photography Festival. As the main supporter, BMW Group Japan will work with KYOTOGRAPHIE to encourage interest in Japanese art and culture, and to promote sustainable mobility solutions in Kyoto and throughout Japan. Featuring a wealth of artists and collections from around the world, KYOTOGRAPHIE celebrates its 5th anniversary this April with the theme of “LOVE”.


This year, BMW is working with KYOTOGRAPHIE to host Japan’s first post-mortem retrospective exhibition for the works of Arnold Newman. Known as a master of portrait photography, Arnold Newman is famous for photographing celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso and Igor Stravinsky, along with several BMW Art Car contributors. BMW has been working with artists from all over the world since 1975 to create BMW Art Cars as part of their commitment to cultural engagement. Possibly the most famous of these is the BMW Art Car No. 4, the BMW M1 decorated by Andy Warhol, an icon of art pop culture and another of Arnold Newman’s subjects. This Art Car and Arnold Newman’s portrait of Andy Warhol is currently on display at the KYOTOGRAPHIE exhibition at World Heritage Site Nijo Castle.


BMW’s famous all-electric BMW i3 is also on show, wrapped by Toilet Paper, an avantgarde picture-based publication and brand created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan together with photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari. This copy of Cattelan’s original “Spaghetti Car” can only be seen in Japan for a short time. Meanwhile, a fleet of BMW i3s will be offered during the month-long event as free shuttle and share cars.


A BMW i3 was also lent to the City of Kyoto, KYOTOGRAPHIE’s co-organizer. BMW Group Japan President and CEO Peter Kronschabl personally handed over the vehicle to Kyoto City Mayor Mr. Daisaku Kadokawa as a symbol of the harmony between the city of Kyoto and BMW Group’s shared goals of sustainability and environmental responsibility.


Regarding the collaboration, Mr. Kronschnabl commented that, “Everyone knows Kyoto as the home of the Kyoto Protocol. Like BMW, this city is famous for culture and sustainability, for tradition and innovation. We are proud to support KYOTOGRAPHIE and honored that Kyoto City will use our BMW i3, the only vehicle in the world made from 95% recycled materials.”


The KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival is held annually over four weeks during the height of the spring tourist season in Kyoto, in a style that is unique in Asia. Exhibitions are spread across the city, staged creatively in various traditional and contemporary settings. The exhibitions and events create opportunities, bringing people together of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Now recognized as one of the world’s leading photography events, Kyotographie has attracted some 250,000 visitors from within Japan and overseas since 2013.


To cap off KYOTOGRAPHIE 2017 and bring the festival to art-lovers in Tokyo, a special exhibition will be held at BMW Group Tokyo Bay, the new brand experience center located in the heard of Tokyo’s Odaiba. With numerous customer events planned, “BMW Art Beat Week” will include a special closing party on May 31 and a satellite showing of the “Arnold Newman by BMW” exhibition, with selected works by the acclaimed photographer as well as his portrait of Andy Warhol. Visitors can also enjoy the rare chance to see Andy Warhol’s BMW Art Car in person, as well as exclusive footage of this work of art being created. Widely held to be one of the most expensive cars in the world, this BMW Art Car was painted by Andy Warhol in under half an hour before it went on to take second place in its class at the 1979 24-hour race at Le Mans.


Located in the heart of Tokyo, BMW Group Tokyo Bay features two showrooms with a comprehensive lineup of the latest BMW and MINI models. Stretching over an entire city block of the bay area, this cutting-edge facility also boasts a BMW M-standard driving area, a beautiful café and conference hall, a service workshop and a lifestyle shop. To fully experience BMW’s “Sheer Driving Pleasure”, visitors can enjoy a virtual reality test drive in a BMW i3 or a real on-road experience with one of around 100 different models.


For further questions please contact:


Dr Thomas Girst

BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs

Head of Cultural Engagement

Telephone: +49-89-382-24753


Leonie Laskowski

BMW Group Corporate and Intergovernmental Affairs

Cultural Engagement

Telephone: +49-89-382-45382



About BMW Group’s Cultural Commitment


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. Currently, female artist Cao Fei from China and American John Baldessari are creating 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 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.

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