As the iconic program of BMW strategic corporate social responsibility, BMW China Culture Journey is committed to exploring Chinese traditional culture and promoting the inheritance and development of intangible cultural heritage. This program has created a successful model of corporate engagement in intangible cultural heritage safeguarding. Initiated in 2007, BMW China Culture Journey is now entering its twelfth consecutive year and began its second decade in 2016, with an upgrade from “going beyond” visiting intangible cultural heritage items to building the “sustainable public platform” geared to concentrate social resources and integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life.
Through innovative exploration and practical surveys, we discovered that Innovative Transformation and Marketing Management are two key approaches to help integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life. BMW strategic corporate social responsibility exercised BMW’s brand influence to build bridges geared to concentrate various social resources.
As a long-term corporate social responsibility project in China's automobile industry, BMW has been paying attention to the protection of intangible cultural heritage for the past twelve years, visiting 337 intangible cultural heritage items in 22 provinces and municipalities, donating over 16 million RMB to 90 intangible cultural heritage items in urgent need of safeguarding and relevant research projects. It has made outstanding contributions to the protection of China's intangible cultural heritage.
Through BMW China Culture Journey’s detailed investigation of intangible cultural heritage, we identify existing problems, set clear goals and propose innovative solutions guided by innovative strategies.
Identify Social Issues:
BMW China Culture Journey recognized the severe risks that intangible cultural heritage is facing – it is hard to inherit and hard to revitalize. In simple terms, it is difficult to bring intangible cultural heritage into modern life. Only by re-entering the market and integrating into modern life, can it realize the positive development of industry and solve difficulties associated with inheritance.
Develop Program Goals: integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life in innovative ways to solve the problem of revitalization and inheritance.
Implement Innovative Methods:BMW China Culture Journey exercised its strong brand influence to build bridges geared to concentrate various social resources and integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life.
launched innovative initiatives guided by the principle of “teaching a man how to fish rather than giving him a fish”, upgraded vision from solely providing donations to enabling and assisting the work of intangible cultural heritage inheritors.
- In June 2016, BMW co-founded the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Culture Heritage Safeguarding in partnership with Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design to explore innovative models for intangible cultural heritage safeguarding. We have already selected 30 inheritors from Sichuan province, Hunan province and Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture for further training at the Innovation Center, together with other inheritors selected by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
- In October 2017, members of the BMW senior management team gave exclusive lectures to inheritors, providing valuable advice concerning business management, marketing and social media communication.
- At the end of 2017, BMW China Culture Journey selected 10 female inheritors from remote areas to attend the Mulan Academy for free, bypassing the entrance exam, for further entrepreneurial advice and training.
-Market Insight:regard the millennial generation as the target of communication.
- The millennials, who were born in the 80s and 90s, are the main group of consensus and consumption. To help integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life and refill its energy, we need the attention of millennials.
BMW China Culture Journey is now upgrade to the “Sustainable Public Platform” geared to bridge social resources and integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life. It builds bridges to concentrate various social resources and successfully engages our key stakeholders including BMW dealers, car owners, intangible cultural heritage protection experts and designers to safeguard intangible cultural heritage.
Practice Innovative Approaches:
BMW China Culture Journey continues to help integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life, which is achieved in two ways: promote cultural communication in the field of intangible cultural heritage; utilize innovative methods to promote the use and consumption of intangible cultural heritage works.
-Promote Cultural Communication in the Field of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
- Launch the Intangible Cultural Heritage-themed Tour Guide,to explore the creative communication of “intangible culture heritage+ tourism”.
- Hold Interactive Lectures and Intangible Cultural Heritage Workshops.
Since 2017, BMW China Culture Journey has invited inheritors to held intangible cultural heritage lectures and interactive workshops at BMW Experience Shanghai, providing the opportunity for the public to study and experience intangible cultural heritage for free.
-Promote the Use and Consumption of Intangible Cultural Heritage Works.
- Held BMW Lifestyle Intangible Cultural Heritage Creative Design Competition.
In 2016, the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center held the BMW Lifestyle Intangible Cultural Heritage Creative Design Competition, where inheritors were invited to design a series of handcraft works and conceptual products with intangible cultural heritage and BMW elements, to encourage innovative design methods and improve the design capabilities of intangible cultural heritage inheritors.
- Launch Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Incubation Program.
Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Creative Ambassadors were invited from different specialisms to collaborate with intangible cultural heritage inheritors to create cultural creative works inspired by intangible cultural heritage crafts and elements to explore crossover innovations in the field of modern life.
- Co-produce “Yushu Impression” Series Handicrafts
2017 BMW China Culture Journey
2017BMW China Culture Journey’s Visit in Hunan
The series events of 2017 BMW China Culture Journey officially kicked off with an intangible cultural heritage visit in Hunan, featuring “Explore Mysterious Hunan, a Spiritual Homeland of Vigor and Vitality”. The intangible cultural heritage visits in Hunan took place from July 26 to August 4, during which two groups of members comprising journalists, intangible cultural heritage experts, cultural experts, designers and entrepreneurs visited intangible cultural heritage items in 11 municipalities and prefectures across Hunan Province. The South Route, with a focus on traditional craftsmanship, arts and drama, visited intangible cultural heritage items such as Hunan embroidery, Liling Underglazed Five-Color Porcelain, and Kun Opera, whilst the North Route, with a focus on folk customs, vocal art forms and traditional music, visited intangible cultural heritage items including the Dragon Boat Festival celebration on Miluo River, Yu-Drum, and the Miao Minority’s Folk Song.
Guided by BMW’s strategic corporate social responsibility, 2017 BMW China Culture Journey has successfully achieved the goals of the intangible cultural heritage visit in Hunan through a series of innovative initiatives as follows:
Firstly, ten inheritors with innovation needs and potential are selected, and were sent to the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding for research and design training.
Secondly, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Incubation Program has been launched, which invites Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Creative Ambassadors from different specialisms to collaborate with intangible cultural heritage inheritors to create works inspired by intangible cultural heritage items. Works created under this program were displayed at the “BMW China Culture Journey Intangible Cultural Heritage Festival” which was held in Beijing in November to integrate intangible cultural heritage into modern life.
Through the Program, with the innovative model of “Intangible Cultural Heritage Inheritors + Intangible Cultural Heritage Crossover Creative Ambassadors”, 2017 BMW China Culture Journey fuel intangible cultural heritage crossover innovations in fields including music, fashion, gourmet and handicrafts as follows:
Intangible Cultural Heritage Music: invite the pop music singer Summer (Jike Junyi), together with inheritors of intangible cultural heritage items in traditional music, to produce the non-profit intangible cultural heritage song;
Intangible Cultural Heritage Fashion: invite designer SaraYun, together with inheritors of traditional art items and traditional craftsmanship items, to produce a collection of Chinese cultural elements and trendy apparel inspired by intangible cultural heritage;
Intangible Cultural Heritage Gourmet: invite culinary expert Heymy to integrate traditional food of Hunan province into modern dishes, creating “a bite of intangible cultural heritage”;
Intangible Cultural Heritage Handicrafts: invite designer Gao Yiqiang and volunteers from BMW car owners, together with around 10 inheritors of traditional craftsmanship items, to design and produce creative and practical intangible cultural heritage handicrafts which feature Chinese cultural elements.
Thirdly, following the great success of the “BMW China Culture Journey Sichuan Intangible Cultural Heritage Tour Guide” in 2016, BMW China Culture Journey in collaboration with Mafengwo, launch the “BMW China Culture Journey Hunan Intangible Cultural Heritage Tour Guide” in 2017, to promote the intangible cultural heritage items of Hunan and encourage young people to understand and experience the charm of intangible cultural heritage items up-close.
2016 BMW China Culture Journey
From Oct. 14th to 21st, with the theme of “Joy in Sichuan, a Spiritual Homeland of Unique and Delicate Craftsmanship”, BMW China Culture Journey members were divided into two fleets to the routes of South Sichuan and North Sichuan respectively, not only revisiting the intangible cultural heritage items and inheritors that we donated in 2009, but also achieving four aspects of practical results:
Firstly, 10 inheritors with innovation needs and potential had been selected to the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding. They were engaged in a month-long research with specialist tutorials and in-depth study so as to further their capabilities of innovation and improve the self-confidence and self-awareness of intangible cultural heritage inheritance.
Secondly, cultural communication and promotion had been conducted for important intangible cultural heritage items and cultural zones along the Journey. During the trip, the Mobile Broadcast had been used for scene-based interaction with netizens, offering them a true-to-life experience via livestreaming. Besides, the intangible cultural heritage-themed tour guide in Sichuan had been released on popular travel websites to attract more young fans of traditional culture.
Thirdly, centering on promoting the sustainable development and live inheritance of intangible cultural heritage, the Journey had held an Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding Forum, providing inheritors with skills support from the perspective of cultural poverty relief.
Fourthly, the program’s online platform had been optimized, with the creation of an interactive museum, to involve more people in the BMW China Culture Journey, which made sustainable participation possible through the experience platform.
From December 14th to 18th, 2016, the 2015-2016 BMW China Culture Journey Biennial Exhibition was officially held in Shenyang. The Biennial Exhibition was hosted by BMW, co-organized by Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding and supported by Liaoning Provincial Library.
To involve the public to experience the intangible cultural heritage items selected by BMW China Culture Journey and inspire them to join in intangible cultural heritage safeguarding, the Biennial Exhibition included items static display, inheritors onsite performance and interactive experience, presenting a comprehensive and vivid onsite experience of nearly 40 intangible cultural heritage items from Shaanxi and Sichuan visits.
The Exhibition also displayed the creative works of inheritors trained at Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding, showing the creativity and potentials of integrating intangible cultural heritage into modern life.
Meanwhile, BMW Lifestyle Intangible Cultural Heritage Creative Design Competition drawn to a close with gold, silver, bronze and honorable mention medals awarded to 23 intangible cultural heritage inheritors. The "BMW, Gold Saddle and Flying Brocade" by Lai Junwen, from Shu Brocade Institute in Chengdu, awarded the Gold Award.
2018 BMW China Culture Journey
Taking the theme “Trace the Source of the Three Rivers; A Spiritual Homeland of Grandeur and Spectacle”, 2018 BMW China Culture Journey was held from July 25th to July 30th, comprising experts, cultural ambassadors, innovative social enterprise, entrepreneurs, car owners and media, the fleet explored numerous places across Yushu City, Nangqian County and Longbao Town. The representatives visited a large number of intangible cultural heritage sites including traditional folk activities and traditional sports such as the Horse Racing Festival, traditional oral literature represented by Gesar's epic, traditional dances such as the Yi Dance, traditional art such as Zangniang Thang-ga, as well as traditional handicrafts including Tibetan black pottery and Tibetan paper. Meanwhile, the fleet also visited a series of historical, cultural and natural landscapes, such as Princess Wencheng Temple, the Lebagou Cliff Carved Stone, and Longbao Town’s wetland ecosystem.
Guided by BMW strategic corporate social responsibility, BMW China Culture Journey fully exercised its brand influence to build bridge geared to concentrate various social resources and achieved the goals of this visit to Yushu by conducting a series of innovative initiatives.
Firstly, we successfully identified 10 Tibetan intangible cultural heritage inheritors from Yushu and support their studies at the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding. This will help strengthen the foundation of intangible cultural heritage in Yushu and promote the “creative transformation and innovative development” of the area.
Secondly, the “Yushu Development Support Program” achieved its initial objectives. According to topics such as “Building and Promoting the Image for Yushu”, “Local Economic Development”, “Promoting Cultural Tourism”, “Creative Design of Yushu Tibetan Handicrafts” and “BMW Warm Heart Fund Revisit to Yushu”, the task group conducted field visits and research along the journey. These research reports were shared with the Yushu government during the gala dinner, offering feasible suggestions for Yushu’s long-term development.
Thirdly, we explored the creative transformation of intangible cultural heritage, and bridged the design and marketing forces to create the innovation ecosystem of intangible cultural heritage. 2018 BMW China Culture Journey partner with SHOKAY, the innovative social entrepreneur, and Yushu Tibetan cooperatives to design the “Yushu Impression” series of handicraft, which will be presented to the public at the 2nd BMW China Culture Journey Festival.
Fourthly, plans prepare the BMW China Culture Journey Tour Guide in Yushu in 2018, which will support the development of local cultural tourism in an innovative and sustainable way, attracting more young consumers to the local area, the guide will help Yushu promote tourism brands of national Tibetan culture and ecological protection zones.
2019 BMW China Culture Journey
2019 BMW China Culture Journey’s Visit in Hainan Completes
The 2019 BMW China Culture Journey, featuring the theme “Explore Hainan Island, A Spiritual Homeland of Originality and Glamour”, successfully completed its tour in Hainan today, with the fleet visiting over 20 intangible cultural heritage items during the six-day visit. Several achievements of this year’s Culture Journey were announced at the Gala Night of the program this evening. In total, 3 representative intangible cultural heritage items (including Traditional Dyeing, Weaving and Embroidery Skills of Li Nationality, Coconut Carving and Dongpo Bamboo Hat Manufacture Skill) and 5 inheritors in Hainan province have been selected to the Tsinghua BMW Innovation Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding. At the Center, inheritors will be mentored by professors from the Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design, to co-design and develop intangible cultural heritage-based products for commercial sale to promote poverty alleviation. Additionally, a diverse range of communication platforms have been introduced to complement the program, including a collaboration with the leading domestic travel website Mafengwo and produce serial Tour Guide, further promoting and raising awareness of cultural tourism in Hainan.
From July 8th to 13th, the BMW China Culture Journey fleet carried participants including scholars, entrepreneurs, customers and media representatives to inspect a wide variety of intangible cultural heritage items across Hainan, in cities including Haikou, Qionghai and Wuzhishan. Among the items viewed included folk customs (South China Sea Manual of Sea Routes), handicrafts (Traditional Dyeing, Weaving and Embroidery Skills and Rattan Weaving of the Li Nationality), fine arts (Coconut Carving) and traditional dance (Firewood Gathering Dance and Rice Husking Dance).
The 2019 BMW China Culture Journey’s visit to Hainan has selected 5 inheritors from 3 representative intangible cultural heritage items (including Traditional Dyeing, Weaving and Embroidery Skills of Li Nationality, Coconut Carving and Dongpo Bamboo Hat Manufacture Skill) in Hainan province to Innovation Center. Over the following three months, the selected inheritors will be mentored by professors at The Tsinghua University’s Academy of Arts and Design, to co-design and develop intangible cultural heritage-based products. The processing, manufacturing and sales of such products will help create new rural jobs and effectively advance the implementation of the national policy of poverty alleviation.
Throughout this week, BMW China Culture Journey has leveraged a diverse range of communication platforms to promote cultural tourism in Hainan by increasing public awareness of Hainan’s unique, extraordinary and diverse traditional culture.
Based on the Journey in Hainan, the program will produce its fourth intangible cultural heritage-themed tour guide (BMW China Culture Journey Tour Guide in Hainan) to promote intangible cultural heritage preservation through an innovative, cultural tourism-based approach. The guide is expected to be released at the end of this year and will help promote Hainan as a base for international cultural tourism.
Various sceneries and intangible cultural heritage items along the tour were broadcast on the TikTok video-sharing site, under the hashtag #FunIntangibleCulturalHeritage# to engage the younger generation in the delights of China’s intangible cultural heritage. Users were also encouraged to produce and share their own intangible cultural heritage videos. Videos shared under the topic received over 8,000,000 viewerships during the six-day journey, helping raise interest in intangible cultural heritage among the Chinese public.
As the iconic Corporate Social Responsibility program of BMW, BMW China Culture Journey has continuously operated for 13 years since its launch in 2007. The program, which leverages BMW's resources and core competitive strengths, helps to promote achievement by “empowering with innovative thinking”, striving towards a goal of “creating shared value”. The program is committed to bridging diversified social resources and integrating intangible cultural heritage into modern life by raising awareness of China’s heritage, while also promoting the sustainable commercialization, production and consumption of China’s intangible cultural heritage.