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Source: BMW Group Munich. For almost two months, the ninth BMW Art Journey winner, Leelee Chan, represented by the Capsule Gallery in Shanghai, traveled through Europe to further develop her own artistic practice. The first section of her BMW Art Journey, an initiative by Art Basel and BMW, took Leelee Chan from August 28 to October 21, 2020 from Italy via Switzerland to Germany. Now the Hong Kong-based artist is pausing her trip and plans to continue in Mexico as soon as travel and health regulations allow. “It was a special privilege to be on the road under the difficult conditions of the ongoing corona pandemic and to be able to complete the section of my journey in Europe. In addition, it was a truly incredible and eye-opening experience to meet all the artisans, scientists and other people who made this journey possible, ”said Leelee Chan. The focus of her BMW Art Journey is“ Tokens from Time ” for Leelee Chan the examination of material culture from the past, present and future. The artist understands objects of different materials and their historical development as “tokens”, which represent and make tangible for her the most important values ​​and emotional states of societies in various cultural and historical contexts she took part in workshops by the sculptors Franco Cervietti, Nicola Stagetti and other local artists to learn more about the artistic processing of marble. She then traveled to Ravenna and Sicily to attend a course at the Mosaic Art School and to see some of the world’s oldest and largest early Christian mosaics, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Subsequently, Leelee Chan worked in Agnone with the processing of copper in traditional, family-run workshops. Her path led her to the 1000-year-old bell foundry Pontificia Fonderia Marinelli. During her trip through Switzerland and Germany, however, Leelee Chan focused on the use of future materials and the direct exchange with scientists and experts from the Field of materials research. She met Prof. Karen Scrivener at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne to learn more about the production and influence of low-carbon cement. During her stay in Germany, Leelee Chan also visited the headquarters and the development centers as the first BMW Art Journey award winner of the BMW Group in Munich. There she had the opportunity to exchange ideas with experts from the fields of textiles, glass, recycling and design. In addition, she was able to visit the Nymphenburg Porcelain Manufactory and the glass painting and mosaic workshops of the Mayer’schen Hofkunstanstalt, both traditional Munich businesses. Chan’s investigations are rounded off by a video conference and the associated exchange with the microbiologist Prof. Han Wösten from the “Fungal Biology ”from the University of Utrecht. Through the numerous conversations and laboratory visits, the artist was able to gain a deeper understanding of how technically produced materials can be part of a more sustainable future. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the artist decided in the summer of this year to adapt her original travel route and start her BMW Art Journey in Europe. Chan now plans to travel to Mexico to study the symbolic meaning of crystals in Mayan culture and the traditional craft and artistic processing of silver. However, further travel planning depends on the developments of the pandemic and is constantly monitored and adapted in accordance with the constantly changing regulations. In collaboration with the artist, the journey is documented by Art Basel and BMW in publications and can be followed in digital and social networks You can find more information and press materials on the artists of the BMW Art Journey and their projects in the redesigned press area at: About Leelee Chan, represented by Capsule Shanghai, ShanghaiLeelee Chan (born 1984 ) lives and works in Hong Kong. She received her master’s degree in fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2009 and her bachelor’s degree from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. Chan’s sculptures reflect her experience of the extreme urbanization of Hong Kong and almost always consist of trash, household items and banal objects from her everyday life that are generally not considered to be memorable or worth preserving. Based on the impulse to question the status and value of these objects, Chan explores their potential for transformation in a creative way, transforming each object according to its characteristic properties. Chan’s solo exhibitions took place in the Capsule Gallery in Shanghai. In addition, she was recently represented in group exhibitions at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong, and UCCA Dune, Qinhuangdao, and is currently showing an exhibition of her works in the sculpture park in Cologne. Leelee Chan was the ninth winner of the BMW Art Journey in a digital process from a shortlist of selected three artists whose galleries had originally been accepted for this year’s edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong. The international jury of experts included Claire Hsu, Director Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; Matthias Mühling, Director of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus and Kunstbau, Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Philip Tinari, Director UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Samson Young, artist and winner of the first BMW Art Journey. The shortlist of three artists for the next BMW Art Journey is expected to be announced in March 2021 as part of Art Basel Hong Kong. The BMW Art Journey is an initiative founded in 2015 by Art Basel and BMW to promote emerging artists around the world. In its sixth year, the circle of artists who can apply for the initiative has been expanded. Since 2020, it has not only addressed young and established artists who are presented by galleries in the Discoveries sector of Art Basel in Hong Kong, but also those who are represented by exhibiting galleries that were founded a maximum of ten years ago. Due to the spread of Covid-19 and the associated cancellation of this year’s Art Basel in Hong Kong, the jury selected the BMW Art Journey shortlist as part of a digital process. Artists and their galleries were invited to submit their application digitally with a short video showing how the artists worked.

If you have any questions, please contact: Prof. Dr. Thomas GirstBMW Group Corporate Communications and PoliticsHead of Cultural EngagementPhone: + 49-89-382-24753E-Mail: presse@bmwgroup.comSarah DegenSenior Media Relations Manager, Art BaselPhone: +41 -58-206-2706 Email:

About Art Basel Art Basel was founded in 1970 by gallery owners from Basel and today organizes the most important art fairs for modern and contemporary art with fairs in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. Each trade fair is shaped by the host city and region and is therefore unique. This is also reflected in the list of participating galleries, the exhibited works and the supporting program, which is created for each edition in cooperation with the local institutions. Art Basel’s commitment has expanded beyond the art fairs through new digital platforms such as Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms and new initiatives such as The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report and The BMW Art Journey. For more information, please visit

The BMW Group’s cultural commitment For 50 years, the BMW Group’s international cultural promotion has been an essential part of corporate communications with over 100 projects around the world. The BMW Group’s long-term commitment focuses on contemporary and modern art, classical music and jazz as well as architecture and design. In 1972 the artist Gerhard Richter made three large-format paintings especially for the foyer of the Munich headquarters. Since then, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Daniel Barenboim, Jonas Kaufmann and architect Zaha Hadid have worked with BMW. In 2016 and 2017, the Chinese artist Cao Fei and the American John Baldessari designed the two new additions to the BMW Art Car Collection. For years, the BMW Group and its partners have been initiating and establishing their own formats such as BMW Tate Live, BMW Welt Jazz Award, BMW Open Work, the BMW Art Journey and the “Opera for Everyone” concerts in Berlin, Munich, Moscow and London. The company also supports leading museums, art fairs and orchestras, jazz festivals and opera houses around the world. With BMW OPERA NEXT, the new digital partnership with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the possibilities of digitization are made possible for easier access to the opera world for a young audience. As part of the Rolls-Royce Art Program “Muse”, the automobile manufacturer is cooperating with two internationally renowned art institutions for the “The Dream Commission” initiative. Together with the Fondation Beyeler and the Serpentine Galleries, young and established artists are invited to create immersive, digital works. Well-known personalities from the international art world, such as Daniel Birnbaum, Suhanya Raffel and Theodora Vischer, are responsible for the nomination and selection. With all cultural engagement, the BMW Group takes the absolute freedom of creative potential for granted – because in art it is as much a guarantee for pioneering works as it is for innovations in a commercial enterprise. Further information: and / culture / ueberblickFacebook:


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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