Cao Fei Becomes the First Artist to Bring Her Artistry to the Inside of a BMW

The artist's work makes its debut in the new BMW iX M60.

Cao Fei's stunning new work is her second collaboration with BMW.

Many world-renowned artists have partnered with BMW over the years: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jeff Koons (to name a few), each of whom emblazoned the exterior body of a bimmer with a one-of-a-kind paint or foliation job in the artist’s own distinctive style.

Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei is the first to exhibit her artistry inside a vehicle.

cao fei BMW

The interior of the new BMW iX M60.

Cao Fei’s stunning digital artwork, titled Quantum Garden, made its debut January 5 within the luxurious cabin of the new electric BMW iX M60 during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (January 5–7).

Fittingly unveiled via live-stream, Cao Fei’s digital artwork demonstrates the possibilities of BMW’s Digital Art Mode. This new technological feature on the car’s dashboard display panel combines graphics, mood lighting, and sound to create a unique immersive experience for driver and passenger alike.

“My work, Quantum Garden, gives the BMW driver the chance to experience the ever-changing digital landscapes of a multifaceted universe in a screen world, where abstract poetry and sensory pixels intersect,” says Cao Fei.

The Beijing-based artist further described the installation as “a poetic collection of universes, countless atoms, nebulae, and thousands of fast-moving beams of light from the depths of the universe, and those trailing strings of galaxies, growing larger and smaller, intersecting and extending, combining and separating, perceiving and listening to each other, around a myriad of constantly rotating centers. In a multidimensional universe, the trajectory is non-linear, the journey has no end, only the freedom to switch between the micro and macro worlds, to wander, to explore, and to evolve.”

cao fei BMW

Cao Fei’s imagery for the BMW iX M60.

The innovative debut coincides with the 50th anniversary of BMW’s Cultural Engagement and represents a quantum leap for the program, according to the company.

“With the new Digital Art Mode, BMW Cultural Engagement reaches new heights while creating something entirely unique,” says Christoph Grote, BMW’s Senior Vice President Digital Car, 

“For the very first time, we are making digital art an integral part of the modern driving experience in a car and use innovative technology to transform mobility into an individual, highly exclusive, and emotional experience.”

Cao Fei says the work is “a poetic collection of universes."

Cao Fei says the work is “a poetic collection of universes.”

Cao Fei previously collaborated with BMW Group in 2017 as part of the German automaker’s long-standing Art Car Series. Her ground-breaking contribution utilized augmented reality to cast an aura of multicolored light particles around the BMW M6 GT3, which viewers could only experience by using a customized application on their smartphones.

Cao Fei’s high-tech Art Car was the 18th in the ongoing series, which dates back to 1975’s colorfully painted BMW 3.0 CSL race car by American sculptor Alexander Calder.

With this latest artist-automaker collaboration, BMW advances even further into the digital age by merging cutting-edge artwork with interior design for the first time.

The Digital Art Mode feature will be made available in other BMW models later this year.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.