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Digital Reincarnation: Lu Yang's BMW Art Journey


The hard-edged, kinetic animations and paintings of the Shanghai-based Lu Yang (b. 1984) deploy the latest digital tools to fuse Chinese cultural and spiritual influences with imagery inspired by manga comics and contemporary youth and gaming subcultures. In 2019, Lu Yang was selected by an international jury for the BMW Art Journey, a collaborative project between Art Basel and BMW which invites artists on journeys of creative discovery to destinations of their own choosing around the world. The artist’s Human Machine Reverse Motion Capture Project was concerned with how the human body can overcome its physical limitations—a prevalent theme in Lu Yang’s practice. 

The works on view here relate to and are inspired by Lu Yang’s BMW Art Journey, which has continued in the digital realm after the novel coronavirus made it difficult to visit some of the originally planned destinations. More broadly, the selected works highlight the artists’ creative evolution in recent years, leading up to a current body of work in which Lu Yang’s digital avatar has become the subject of his continuing digital journey.

One of the works is a collaboration with Acute Art, the London-based organization that works with artists on augmented and virtual-reality projects. To view the work please download the Acute Art app and scan the QR code. Other works open windows into Lu Yang’s constantly expanding practice as it incarnates on various platforms, from 3D animation to paintings. Together, the works transport viewers into a fictional universe like no other, in which centuries-old philosophical concerns about what it means to be human are investigated in a hypnotic and sometimes disquieting visual language. Looking ahead, Lu Yang will continue his BMW Art Journey in the form of new digital experiments.

Find out more about Lu Yang's BMW Art Journey here: or follow @bmwgroupculture on Instagram to keep up to date with our latest projects.

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