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Rolls-Royce shares perseverance, willpower in artistic Chinese fable retelling

July 14, 2016

Chinese filmmaker Yang Fudong Chinese filmmaker Yang Fudong


British automaker Rolls-Royce is upping the global appeal of its ongoing Art Programme through a collaboration with Chinese artist Yang Fudong.

As his first brand project with Rolls-Royce, Mr. Fudong has created a video work that will screen at the Shanghai Center of Photography in Shanghai later this year. An award-winning filmmaker and photographer, Mr. Fudong’s work for Rolls-Royce centers on a Chinese fable that speaks to the virtues of perseverance and willpower.

Myths and legends
To prepare his film concept, Mr. Fudong traveled to Rolls-Royce’s home in Goodwood, England to experience the automaker’s essence first-hand and learn more about its artisanal practices.

Rolls-Royce’s Art Programme reflects the automaker’s view on art theory, as those fortunate enough to purchase its vehicles begin with a blank canvas that becomes their own artistic vision, just as an artist does in his preferred medium.

“I have had this idea in mind for a long time,” Mr. Fudong said in a statement. “I think it is perfect to finally realize it as part of this co-operation with Rolls-Royce.

rolls royce.fudong art programm

Still from Yang Fudong's film for Rolls-Royce's Art Programme

Mr. Fudong’s film will debut and be on public display at the Shanghai Center of Photography in the city’s West Bund art district.

“Yang Fudong is a Chinese artist who pairs his respect for traditional elements with the use of modern media,” said Leon Li, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars regional director for China, in a statement. “His ethos resonates with Rolls-Royce, expertly melding time-honored skills with modern technology.

“To support an artist of such international stature is a truly inspiring venture and we await his new work with anticipation,” he said.

Mr. Fudong joins Mohammed Kazem from the United Arab Emirates and India’s Sudarshan Shetty for Rolls-Royce’s Art Programme 2016.

Similar to Mr. Fudong’s inspiration, for Mr. Shetty’s commissioned piece, premiering in Mumbai on Nov. 5, the artist has created a two-channel film and two sculptures inspired by an Indian folk tale (see story).