An art installation and a unique fashion show at the BMW Brilliance Plant Tiexi in Shenyang, Liaoning province, opened the joint venture’s new art season themed “Unique Art, Inspired by Industry” last week.
The carmaker makes great efforts to explore the integration of industry and art. Plant Tiexi is more than just a vehicle production plant, it was recognized as a national AAAA tourist site in 2017.
Johann Wieland, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive, said, “Art and industry naturally fit together. Creating something new requires both a creative process and a physical process – be it the painter with a paintbrush or the manufacturer building a motorcar.”
“At BMW Brilliance, every car we produce is a work of art; precisely constructed and refined by the craftsmanship of our associates and our state-of-the-art production systems. This combination of art, industry, people and technology ensures we produce the highest quality BMW premium cars for our Chinese customers,” Wieland said.
At this year’s art season, BMW Brilliance cooperated with the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University to create site-specific art installations named Creator. They draw inspiration from BMW Brilliance’s advanced processes and production concepts.
A range of paintings, sculptures, installations and prints to showcase the spirit of “humanistic care” and “innovative design” was advocated by BMW Brilliance.
Ma Sai, professor of the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University, said that after visiting Plant Tiexi, he was surprised by its quietness. He found it was like an art exhibition hall, which subverted the impression of a traditional dark and noisy factory.
“I was impressed by the production lines in Plant Tiexi. The carmaker invests a lot in advanced ergonomic equipment to avoid the employee bending to work.
“I can see that the carmaker puts the employee first and respects their values, which also helps to inspire workers’ creativity,” Ma added.
In addition to the art installation, BMW Brilliance cooperated with fashion designers to create unique garments under the theme of “stylish and futuristic” and “colorful and industrial sports”. They presented a spectacular fashion show last week, which highlighted the unique outfits inspired by industrial elements found in the body shop and assembly at Plant Tiexi.
Markus Zimmermann, an architect of BMW AG, said that the plant aims to be a flagship project.
The masterplan for Plant Tiexi followed the Architectural Guidelines of BMW Group. Their defined core values for Corporate Architecture contain sustainable design and construction, a self-confident and ambitious shape, and result-oriented functions, he added.
“In order to achieve this overall goal, criteria had an influence on the type of construction, structural design and the use of materials. And the task was to design state-of-the-art production facilities, with timeless architectural design, eco-friendly and people-orientated services,” he said.
Beginning in June 2010, the plant was built with the “single-roof concept” over 18 months. The concept arranges the production workshops close to the central main office building. This structure not only reduces the use of outer walls, but also creates a more open-space design and provides greater flexibility for future expansion.
The main office building, which functions as its heart, is characterized by its open and artistic atmosphere. Following the principle of creating “space in space”, the main office building is designed to aid open communication and productive collaboration among workers.
Furthermore, the “colorful car conveyor”, which transfers painted car bodies from the paint shop to the assembly shop via the second floor of the main office building, is a unique viewing point within Plant Tiexi that provides inspiration to people working in surrounding offices.
With energy conservation and environmental protection as a guiding principle, Plant Tiexi has adopted more than 60 energy-saving and emission-reducing measures, including using natural lighting wherever possible.
Yang Meihong, vice-president of BMW Brilliance Automotive, said: “All the workshops in Plant Tiexi do a good job in energy-saving, environmental protection and sustainable development.”
The plant features a specially-designed 2-kilometer-long energy tunnel that holds the power, water, heating and ventilation pipes. This will help to save labor, materials and investment in the future when planned expansion goes ahead.
In 2015, the main office building of Plant Tiexi received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Golden Certification, and set an international benchmark for the design of a green manufacturing facility in the motor industry, Yang added.
In addition to a world-class production plant, Plant Tiexi is also a vibrant living community featuring an open art space that can exhibit different forms of art and provides almost limitless possibilities for creativity.
In the “Art Space” of Plant Tiexi, workers are inspired by the plant’s open layout and artistic atmosphere. They perform their work energetically and passionately, and are encouraged to express their individuality, creativity and talent at work.
Just as BMW’s interpretation of automobile design aesthetics seeks to “create an atmosphere of exclusive enjoyment”, the “creators” of BMW Brilliance transform each BMW car into a piece of art in Plant Tiexi, the carmaker said.
In the future, BMW Brilliance and its associates will continue to use a creative spirit and innovation to unite industry and art, explore the infinite possibilities of Plant Tiexi as an art plant and pioneer industrial aesthetics of the future, the carmaker added.
The main office building of the BMW Brilliance Plant Tiexi in Shenyang, Liaoning province. Photos provided to China Daily
From left: Johann Wieland, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive, delivers a speech at the plant. A fashion show is unveiled at the plant last week.
(China Daily 12/02/2019 page19)