Protect Intangible Cultural Heritage–A Perfect Interpretation of BMW’s “At Home in China” Philosophy
2022 BMW China Culture Journey Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Innovation Deliverables Launch
(Beijing) On December 7, Beautiful China: Collection of Creative Cases of Intangible Cultural Heritage (hereinafter referred to as the Collection) compiled by Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding (hereinafter referred to as the Innovation Center) and Tsinghua (Qingdao) Academy of Arts and Science Innovation Research, published by Tsinghua University Press, and funded by the China Education Development Foundation BMW Warm Heart Fund, was officially released as part of the 2022 BMW China Culture Journey. Intangible cultural heritage social innovation deliverables produced by the faculty and students from the Innovation Center and intangible cultural heritage inheritors were launched at the same time. In conjunction with BMW Brilliance’s 20th anniversary, these innovative deliverables are BMW’s gifts to Chinese society to support the cause of intangible cultural heritage protection with practical social innovation deliverables—at home in China, BMW protects intangible cultural heritage.
Through sharing by inheritors and comments by mentors, the Collection gathers representative co-creations and explorations of 29 intangible cultural heritage inheritors under the one-on-one tutelage of mentors from Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design—a vivid and detailed record of the collaborations among “mentors + intangible cultural heritage inheritors”. The Collection is a consolidation of inheritors’ thinking process, exploration and innovative practice in their “integration of intangible cultural heritage into modern life” in recent years from aspects such as consumer insights, product design, and marketing. The Collection will be on the market in January 2023.
Mr. Jochen Goller, President and CEO, BMW Group Region China, said: “Since many years, Sustainability is an essential part of BMW Group’s corporate strategy. To us, Sustainability is much more than just being green and reducing the low-carbon footprint, it is also about the harmonious development and interaction of people, environment and society. In the past 16 years, strongly supported by local authorities and Chinese Academia, the BMW China Culture Journey is making significant contributions to the protection of Chinese intangible cultural heritage, which illustrates our philosophy of being ‘At Home in China’. Moving forward, we remain unwaveringly committed to the innovation, protection and inheritance of traditional Chinese culture, with this injecting new life into traditional craftsmanship and contributing towards creating a ‘beautiful homeland’ in this new era.”
At the same time, the Innovation Center has newly released Yunnan intangible cultural heritage creations produced by inheritors selected during the 2021 BMW China Culture Journey Yunnan Tour and enabled by the Innovation Center through “learning by doing”. The newly released Yunnan intangible cultural heritage creations will be exhibited at the 2022 BMW China Culture Journey Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Innovation Deliverables Exhibition along with the Innovation Center’s Hainan and Liaoning creations. Co-organized by BMW China Automotive Trading Ltd, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts & Design, and the China Science and Technology Museum, the exhibition will be open to the public from December 2022 until March 6, 2023 at the China Science and Technology Museum.
Dr. Franz Decker, President & CEO, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd., said: “2023 marks the 20th anniversary of BMW Brilliance’s establishment. For BMW Brilliance, ‘At Home in China’ means that we are not just driving the development of the industrial value chain to promote the high quality growth of China's automobile industry and Liaoning's old industrial base, but expanding our responsibility beyond our plants. We innovate and practice corporate social responsibility to contribute to Chinese society. And BMW China Culture Journey is a classic example of BMW Corporate Social Responsibility maximizing the social value through collaborations with social parties.”
The exhibition deliverables are, for the first time, presented the public at a national-level exhibition hall. These innovative products are jointly created and designed by intangible cultural heritage inheritors and mentors of Tsinghua University's Academy of Arts & Design under the latter’s one-on-one "learning by doing" tutelage, with both parties’ expertise and experience in perfect complements. With the aim to help integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life, the research and training model not only allowed the ethnic and cultural elements of traditional intangible cultural heritage skills to be retained, but also focused on developing creative products that appeal to contemporary consumers through design thinking—setting an example for the creative transformation and innovative development of the splendid traditional Chinese culture. Prof. Ma Sai, Dean of Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design, and Secretary of the Party Committee, said: “The inheritance and protection of traditional culture requires the participation of people from all walks of life. The continued achievements from our long-term close cooperation with BMW are the best proof and example of how design thinking enables public welfare. In the future, we will deepen our cooperation and design more products for the country and the people through a ‘government-industry-academy-research’ social collaboration model. We will create the opportunities for more people to learn about and fall in love with intangible cultural heritage, and also contribute more to the integration of intangible cultural heritage into modern life.”
It is also worth mentioning that this exhibition will, also for the first time, be bringing “Scented Intangible Cultural Heritage” into the China Science and Technology Museum. Creatively inspired by Hainan's intangible cultural heritage works, all the faculty and students of Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design incorporated the scents of raw plant materials found in the sea, volcanic ash and the Li brocade into intangible cultural heritage creations through olfactory design installations, creating a rich, immersive experience that stimulates exhibition visitors’ senses of sight, smell and touch. Visitors are able to vividly imagine themselves standing right in middle of the ecological environment where intangible cultural heritage craftsmanship was first conceived to fully appreciate the beauty of the harmonious coexistence among mankind, culture and nature.
The BMW 7 Series Halo Edition co-produced by BMW and Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design will also, for the first time, be exhibited at the national museum. The car combines BMW’s century-old craftsmanship with symbolic elements of traditional Chinese culture, and is the best example of Eastern and Western cultures’ seamless fusion. The combination of Chinese cultural symbolic elements including the dragon jade pattern, Craig blue glaze porcelain, white jade, and Acronychia Pedunculata, combined with traditional craftsmanship skills such as embroidery, Chinese lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlay, redefine BMW’s concept of modern luxury and, more importantly, provide a reference for “integrating intangible cultural heritage into modern life”.
Adhering to the philosophy of "At Home in China", the BMW Group continues to create value for customers, the local community and the Chinese automotive industry in China in order to drive joint development. The BMW Group believes that an outstanding enterprise has a purpose beyond profit—"connecting" with stakeholders to create practical value, solve social problems and contribute to society. We pay close attention to national and social agendas and, based on our understanding and insights into the issues, organize our CSR to focus on three main issues—“cultural protection", "social development" and "environmental protection”, which have culminated in four flagship projects - “BMW China Culture Journey”, “BMW Children’s Traffic Safety Education”, ”BMW Joy Home” and “BMW Beautiful Homeland Initiative” - through which we continuously contribute to a better Chinese society.