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Program Overview

As a long-term corporate social responsibility project in China's automobile industry, BMW has been paying attention to the protection of intangible cultural heritage for the past 15 years, visiting 410 intangible cultural heritage items in 24 provinces and municipalities, donating over 25 million RMB to 90 intangible cultural heritage items in urgent need of safeguarding and relevant research projects, influencing nearly 15 million people in total. It has made outstanding contributions to the protection of China's intangible cultural heritage.

Innovative Logic

BMW China Culture Journey deeply explores the principle of "teaching a man how to fish rather than giving him a fish" based on BMW’s strong brand influence. The project aims to build bridges geared towards concentrating various social resources and integrating intangible cultural heritage into modern life.

Continuous Enabling to Promote the Creative Transformation and Innovative Development of Traditional Chinese Culture

Enable ICH Inheritors to Improve Creativity During Cultural Products Creation:

- In 2016, BMW co-founded the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding in partnership with Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design to launch the “teach a man to fish” model to upgrade inheritors’ technical skills.
- In 2019, the Innovation Center’s collaboration model was upgraded to a new “learning by doing” practical program. Under the program, ICH inheritors are led to design and develop market-oriented intangible culture-themed creative products. At present, creative products jointly developed by the professors and students from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and inheritors from Hainan, Hubei and Liaoning have been released. The five ICH inheritors selected during the 2021 Yunnan Tour are about to undergo creative cultural training in the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center, with new products resulting from their training expected to be launched in 2022.

E-commerce Enabling to Realize Closed-loop Supply Chain from Design to Consumption: In 2020, BMW China Culture Journey collaborated with Alibaba Foundation under the Model Mother Program to further enable female ICH inheritors with e-commerce skills. The program helped inheritors to expand online sales channels and drive employment through e-commerce.

Innovative Communication and Contribution to Local Community Development:

Explore the crossover integration of “ICH + Tourism”: Since 2016, BMW China Culture Journey has been collaborating with well-known travel website Mafengwo to co-publish ICH-themed Tour Guides for Sichuan, Hunan, Yushu, Hainan, Liaoning and Yunnan. The contributions to local tourism development have influenced and benefited over 2.8 million people.

Leverage e-commerce live streaming platform for the first time: The project leverages a variety of innovative communication approaches to lead more members of the public to join hands to protect ICH, promoting the development of local society and boosting the culture and tourism industries. During the 2021 Yunnan Tour, the program live-streamed 6 cultural workshops on topics such as the Ancient Tea Horse Road, sustainable ecological culture, etc., drawing the attention of nearly 5.5 million people to traditional Chinese culture.

Build Bridges to Integrate Intangible Cultural Heritage into Modern Life:

Carry Out a Series of Innovative Practices:
• In September 2019, the new BMW 7 Series Halo edition was launched. It was co-designed by BMW and faculty and students from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design. The innovation not only demonstrates BMW’s in-depth understanding of Chinese culture, but also perfectly embodies BMW’s corporate social responsibility concept of “creating shared value” with stakeholders.
• For many years, BMW China Culture Journey has been conducting a series of innovative activities including ICH visits, social innovation deliverables exhibitions, cultural salons, pop-up stores, and interactive lectures and workshops to lead the public on a journey to understand ICH and an exploration of the vast possibilities of “integrating ICH into modern life”.

2021 BMW China Culture Journey

15 Years of Cultural Preservation and Innovation to Create Shared Value for Society 2021 BMW China Cultural Journey Wraps Up Yunnan Tour

  (Lijiang, Yunnan Province, July 30) Today, the 2021 BMW China Culture Journey Yunnan tour themed “Exploring Yunnan’s History and Legacy, A Spiritual Homeland of Harmony and Diversity” has officially come to an end. Divided into East and West routes and six cultural themes, the tour led scholars, media representatives and other guests from all over the country to explore 20 fascinating tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Yunnan. BMW China Culture Journey has been helping to protect China's intangible cultural heritage for 15 years as part of its “In China, for China" commitment to Chinese society. During this tour, the program fulfilled all the targets it set for its 15th anniversary.

Mr. Jochen Goller, President and CEO of BMW Group Region China, said, "There is no premium without sustainability. BMW Group has positioned sustainability at the core of our strategy in China and refined our strategic directions into climate change actions; accountable, circular, and resilient value chain; and responsible corporate citizenship. There is no premium without responsibility. In 15 years, BMW China Culture Journey has made contributions to the conservation of traditional Chinese culture that make us proud—it is the perfect embodiment of BMW Group's strategic CSR in China. In conjunction with its 15th anniversary, BMW China Culture Journey is going to unite all forces in society to embark on another journey to contribute to a beautiful China."

Rome was not built in a day. After 15 years of unremitting efforts, BMW China Culture Journey has created a sustainable and reproducible model for “integrating intangible cultural heritage into modern life" and "promoting the creative transformation and innovative development of traditional Chinese culture”.

During the tour, BMW China Culture Journey successfully selected 5 intangible cultural heritage inheritors to attend the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center. Under the tutelage of Tsinghua University's Academy of Arts and Design professors, the inheritors will design and develop marketable creative products to promote the innovative transformation of intangible cultural heritage. The creative products co-designed by the six inheritors from Liaoning and Hubei provinces selected during the 2020 BMW China Culture Journey and Tsinghua professors will be officially launched this year.

As part of its innovative communication strategy, the program live-streamed six themed cultural workshops including the Ancient Tea Horse Road, sustainable ecological culture, and innovative development and transformation of traditional culture and rituals, drawing the attention of nearly 5.5 million people to traditional Chinese culture.

BMW China Culture Journey also collaborated with well-known travel website Mafengwo to launch the "BMW China Culture Journey Intangible Cultural Heritage Tour Guide of Yunnan” to promote the integrated development of Yunnan's culture and tourism industry with visionary thinking. The innovative, upgraded tour guide compiles Yunnan’s unique tourism resources in a form that is specially tailored to the reading habits of the younger generations these days.

With a special focus on people and contributing to local communities, BMW China Culture Journey has unwaveringly forged ahead for 15 years, rooting itself in Chinese society as a community involvement program. Looking forward, BMW China Culture Journey is embarking on a new journey as it continues to use BMW's strong brand influence as a "connection" to build a sustainable, multi-participant intangible cultural heritage socialization platform and support system. Tapping into the power of all parties within the system, the program will forge a new path that is distinctively BMW China Culture Journey to create shared value.

2020 BMW China Culture Journey

Enable through Innovative Approaches and Build New Bridge for Liaoning’s Culture and Tourism Industry 2020 BMW China Culture Journey’s Visit in Liaoning Wraps Up

Shenyang, Liaoning, Sep. 10th - Today, the 2020 BMW China Culture Journey themed “Trace the Root of Liaohai Culture, a Spiritual Homeland of Continuity and Preciousness” wraps up in Liaoning Province. During the four-day tour, the BMW China Culture Journey has experienced in-depth more than 30 tangible and intangible cultural heritages in Liaoning and successfully achieved the following goals:

  Successfully selected 6 intangible cultural heritage inheritors from Liaoning Province and Hubei Province to co-design creative products in the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center. Collaborated with Alibaba Foundation under the Model Mother Program to further enable female intangible cultural heritage inheritors with e-commerce skills and promote intangible cultural heritage safeguarding to realize closed-loop supply chain from design to consumption. Collaborated with Mafengwo to launch the “BMW China Culture Journey Intangible Culture Heritage Tour Guides of Liaoning” to continuously contribute to the development of culture and tourism industry in Liaoning Province.

Promoted intangible cultural heritage products on Taobao's Live Streaming Platform and leveraged innovative approaches to promote intangible cultural heritage’s communication and safeguarding.

  From Sep. 7th to 10th, the BMW China Culture Journey fleet consisting of national media, experts, scholars and others has deeply experienced Shenyang, Panjin, Chaoyang and Fuxin. Focusing on the three representative cultures of Liaoning Province - Manchu Culture, Liaohekou Culture and Hongshan Culture, members of the fleet immersed themselves in tangible and intangible cultural heritages of Liaoning, such as the Shenyang Palace Museum, Manchu Folk Embroidery, The Craft of Shipbuilding in Erjiegou, National Park of Niuheliang Archaeological Site and Fuxin Agate Carving Skill.

  During this tour, 6 intangible cultural heritages inheritors from Liaoning Province and Hubei Province were selected to join the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding. Under the guidance of professors from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design, inheritors will design and develop market-oriented intangible culture-themed creative products to promote the innovative transformation of intangible culture heritage.

  To further enable intangible cultural heritage inheritors, the 2020 BMW China Culture Journey collaborated with Alibaba Foundation under the Model Mother program to launch the “Enabling Female Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritors” program, which is aimed at enabling female inheritors with e-commerce skills. Some trial intangible cultural heritage products produced by female inheritors have already been released on the official "Model Mother” online charity shop. Meanwhile, the first batch of female inheritors selected for the program will receive their e-commerce training session within this year, which will help to expand online sales channels, stimulate greater employment, and further promote intangible cultural heritage safeguarding to realize closed-loop supply chain from design to consumption.

  In addition, BMW China Culture Journey also launched the BMW China Culture Journey Intangible Culture Heritage Tour Guide of Liaoning together with Mafengwo, a popular travel and entertainment platform among young people, to continuously contribute to the development of culture and tourism industry in Liaoning Province.

  During the tour, an online promotion of intangible cultural heritage products was also held on Taobao’s live streaming platform. More than 1.35 million public participated in the inheritance and protection of intangible cultural heritage.

  BMW China Culture Journey has visited and protected Chinese traditional culture for 14 consecutive years. The tour in Liaoning this year focuses on strengthening roots in local communities, which is another milestone for BMW's continuous contribution to Liaoning's social and economic development. In the future, BMW China Culture Journey will continue to exercise its strong brand influence to concentrate various social resources, and build bridges for Liaoning’s culture and tourism industry through innovative approaches, and drive stakeholders to become long-time contributors to Liaoning's social and economic development.

2019 BMW China Culture Journey

2019 BMW China Culture Journey’s Visit in Hainan Completes

The 2019 BMW China Culture Journey, featuring the theme “Explore Hainan Island, A Spiritual Homeland of Originality and Glamour”, successfully completed its tour in Hainan today, with the fleet visiting over 20 intangible cultural heritage items during the six-day visit. Several achievements of this year’s Culture Journey were announced at the Gala Night of the program this evening. In total, 3 representative intangible cultural heritage items (including Traditional Dyeing, Weaving and Embroidery Skills of Li Nationality, Coconut Carving and Dongpo Bamboo Hat Manufacture Skill) and 5 inheritors in Hainan province have been selected to the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding. At the Center, inheritors will be mentored by professors from the Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design, to co-design and develop intangible cultural heritage-based products for commercial sale to promote poverty alleviation. Additionally, a diverse range of communication platforms have been introduced to complement the program, including a collaboration with the leading domestic travel website Mafengwo and produce serial Tour Guide, further promoting and raising awareness of cultural tourism in Hainan.

From July 8th to 13th, the BMW China Culture Journey fleet carried participants including scholars, entrepreneurs, customers and media representatives to inspect a wide variety of intangible cultural heritage items across Hainan, in cities including Haikou, Qionghai and Wuzhishan. Among the items viewed included folk customs (South China Sea Manual of Sea Routes), handicrafts (Traditional Dyeing, Weaving and Embroidery Skills and Rattan Weaving of the Li Nationality), fine arts (Coconut Carving) and traditional dance (Firewood Gathering Dance and Rice Husking Dance).

The 2019 BMW China Culture Journey’s visit to Hainan has selected 5 inheritors from 3 representative intangible cultural heritage items (including Traditional Dyeing, Weaving and Embroidery Skills of Li Nationality, Coconut Carving and Dongpo Bamboo Hat Manufacture Skill) in Hainan province to Innovation Center. Over the following three months, the selected inheritors will be mentored by professors at The Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design, to co-design and develop intangible cultural heritage-based products. The processing, manufacturing and sales of such products will help create new rural jobs and effectively advance the implementation of the national policy of poverty alleviation.

Throughout this week, BMW China Culture Journey has leveraged a diverse range of communication platforms to promote cultural tourism in Hainan by increasing public awareness of Hainan’s unique, extraordinary and diverse traditional culture.

• Based on the Journey in Hainan, the program will produce its fourth intangible cultural heritage-themed tour guide (BMW China Culture Journey Tour Guide in Hainan) to promote intangible cultural heritage preservation through an innovative, cultural tourism-based approach. The guide is expected to be released at the end of this year and will help promote Hainan as a base for international cultural tourism.

• Various sceneries and intangible cultural heritage items along the tour were broadcast on the TikTok video-sharing site, under the hashtag #FunIntangibleCulturalHeritage# to engage the younger generation in the delights of China’s intangible cultural heritage. Users were also encouraged to produce and share their own intangible cultural heritage videos. Videos shared under the topic received over 8,000,000 viewerships during the six-day journey, helping raise interest in intangible cultural heritage among the Chinese public.

As the iconic Corporate Social Responsibility program of BMW, BMW China Culture Journey has continuously operated for 13 years since its launch in 2007. The program, which leverages BMW's resources and core competitive strengths, helps to promote achievement by “empowering with innovative thinking”, striving towards a goal of “creating shared value”. The program is committed to bridging diversified social resources and integrating intangible cultural heritage into modern life by raising awareness of China’s heritage, while also promoting the sustainable commercialization, production and consumption of China’s intangible cultural heritage.

2018 BMW China Culture Journey

Taking the theme “Trace the Source of the Three Rivers; A Spiritual Homeland of Grandeur and Spectacle”, 2018 BMW China Culture Journey was held from July 25th to July 30th, comprising experts, cultural ambassadors, innovative social enterprise, entrepreneurs, car owners and media, the fleet explored numerous places across Yushu City, Nangqian County and Longbao Town. The representatives visited a large number of intangible cultural heritage sites including traditional folk activities and traditional sports such as the Horse Racing Festival, traditional oral literature represented by Gesar's epic, traditional dances such as the Yi Dance, traditional art such as Zangniang Thang-ga, as well as traditional handicrafts including Tibetan black pottery and Tibetan paper. Meanwhile, the fleet also visited a series of historical, cultural and natural landscapes, such as Princess Wencheng Temple, the Lebagou Cliff Carved Stone, and Longbao Town’s wetland ecosystem.

Guided by BMW strategic corporate social responsibility, BMW China Culture Journey fully exercised its brand influence to build bridge geared to concentrate various social resources and achieved the goals of this visit to Yushu by conducting a series of innovative initiatives.

Firstly, we successfully identified 10 Tibetan intangible cultural heritage inheritors from Yushu and support their studies at the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding. This will help strengthen the foundation of intangible cultural heritage in Yushu and promote the “creative transformation and innovative development” of the area.

Secondly, the “Yushu Development Support Program” achieved its initial objectives. According to topics such as “Building and Promoting the Image for Yushu”, “Local Economic Development”, “Promoting Cultural Tourism”, “Creative Design of Yushu Tibetan Handicrafts” and “BMW Warm Heart Fund Revisit to Yushu”, the task group conducted field visits and research along the journey. These research reports were shared with the Yushu government during the gala dinner, offering feasible suggestions for Yushu’s long-term development.

Thirdly, we explored the creative transformation of intangible cultural heritage, and bridged the design and marketing forces to create the innovation ecosystem of intangible cultural heritage. 2018 BMW China Culture Journey partner with SHOKAY, the innovative social entrepreneur, and Yushu Tibetan cooperatives to design the “Yushu Impression” series of handicraft, which will be presented to the public at the 2nd BMW China Culture Journey Festival.

Fourthly, plans prepare the BMW China Culture Journey Tour Guide in Yushu in 2018, which will support the development of local cultural tourism in an innovative and sustainable way, attracting more young consumers to the local area, the guide will help Yushu promote tourism brands of national Tibetan culture and ecological protection zones.

2017 BMW China Culture Journey

2017BMW China Culture Journey’s Visit in Hunan

The series events of 2017 BMW China Culture Journey officially kicked off with an intangible cultural heritage visit in Hunan, featuring “Explore Mysterious Hunan, a Spiritual Homeland of Vigor and Vitality”. The intangible cultural heritage visits in Hunan took place from July 26 to August 4, during which two groups of members comprising journalists, intangible cultural heritage experts, cultural experts, designers and entrepreneurs visited intangible cultural heritage items in 11 municipalities and prefectures across Hunan Province. The South Route, with a focus on traditional craftsmanship, arts and drama, visited intangible cultural heritage items such as Hunan embroidery, Liling Underglazed Five-Color Porcelain, and Kun Opera, whilst the North Route, with a focus on folk customs, vocal art forms and traditional music, visited intangible cultural heritage items including the Dragon Boat Festival celebration on Miluo River, Yu-Drum, and the Miao Minority’s Folk Song.

Guided by BMW’s strategic corporate social responsibility, 2017 BMW China Culture Journey has successfully achieved the goals of the intangible cultural heritage visit in Hunan through a series of innovative initiatives as follows:

Firstly, ten inheritors with innovation needs and potential are selected, and were sent to the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding for research and design training.

Secondly, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Incubation Program has been launched, which invites Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Creative Ambassadors from different specialisms to collaborate with intangible cultural heritage inheritors to create works inspired by intangible cultural heritage items. Works created under this program were displayed at the “BMW China Culture Journey Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival” which was held in Beijing in November to integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life.

Through the Program, with the innovative model of “Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritors + Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Creative Ambassadors”, 2017 BMW China Culture Journey fuel intangible cultural heritage crossover innovations in fields including music, fashion, gourmet and handicrafts as follows:

Intangible Cultural Heritage Music: invite the pop music singer Summer (Jike Junyi), together with inheritors of intangible cultural heritage items in traditional music, to produce the non-profit intangible cultural heritage song;

Intangible Cultural Heritage Fashion: invite designer SaraYun, together with inheritors of traditional art items and traditional craftsmanship items, to produce a collection of Chinese cultural elements and trendy apparel inspired by intangible cultural heritage;

Intangible Cultural Heritage Gourmet: invite culinary expert Heymy to integrate traditional food of Hunan province into modern dishes, creating “a bite of intangible cultural heritage”;

Intangible Cultural Heritage Handicrafts: invite designer Gao Yiqiang and volunteers from BMW car owners, together with around 10 inheritors of traditional craftsmanship items, to design and produce creative and practical intangible cultural heritage handicrafts which feature Chinese cultural elements.

Thirdly, following the great success of the “BMW China Culture Journey Sichuan Intangible Cultural Heritage Tour Guide” in 2016, BMW China Culture Journey in collaboration with Mafengwo, launch the “BMW China Culture Journey Hunan Intangible Cultural Heritage Tour Guide” in 2017, to promote the intangible cultural heritage items of Hunan and encourage young people to understand and experience the charm of intangible cultural heritage items up-close.

2016 BMW China Culture Journey

From Oct. 14th to 21st, with the theme of “Joy in Sichuan, a Spiritual Homeland of Unique and Delicate Craftsmanship”, BMW China Culture Journey members were divided into two fleets to the routes of South Sichuan and North Sichuan respectively, not only revisiting the intangible cultural heritage items and inheritors that we donated in 2009, but also achieving four aspects of practical results:

Firstly, 10 inheritors with innovation needs and potential had been selected to the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding. They were engaged in a month-long research with specialist tutorials and in-depth study so as to further their capabilities of innovation and improve the self-confidence and self-awareness of intangible cultural heritage inheritance.

Secondly, cultural communication and promotion had been conducted for important intangible cultural heritage items and cultural zones along the Journey. During the trip, the Mobile Broadcast had been used for scene-based interaction with netizens, offering them a true-to-life experience via livestreaming. Besides, the intangible cultural heritage-themed tour guide in Sichuan had been released on popular travel websites to attract more young fans of traditional culture.

Thirdly, centering on promoting the sustainable development and live inheritance of intangible cultural heritage, the Journey had held an Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding Forum, providing inheritors with skills support from the perspective of cultural poverty relief.

Fourthly, the program’s online platform had been optimized, with the creation of an interactive museum, to involve more people in the BMW China Culture Journey, which made sustainable participation possible through the experience platform.

From December 14th to 18th, 2016, the 2015-2016 BMW China Culture Journey Biennial Exhibition was officially held in Shenyang. The Biennial Exhibition was hosted by BMW, co-organized by Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding and supported by Liaoning Provincial Library.

To involve the public to experience the intangible cultural heritage items selected by BMW China Culture Journey and inspire them to join in intangible cultural heritage safeguarding, the Biennial Exhibition included items static display, inheritors onsite performance and interactive experience, presenting a comprehensive and vivid onsite experience of nearly 40 intangible cultural heritage items from Shaanxi and Sichuan visits.

The Exhibition also displayed the creative works of inheritors trained at Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding, showing the creativity and potentials of integrating intangible cultural heritage into modern life.

Meanwhile, BMW Lifestyle Intangible Cultural Heritage Creative Design Competition drawn to a close with gold, silver, bronze and honorable mention medals awarded to 23 intangible cultural heritage inheritors. The "BMW, Gold Saddle and Flying Brocade" by Lai Junwen, from Shu Brocade Institute in Chengdu, awarded the Gold Award.

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