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Volkswagen launches cultural engagement initiative in China with opening of the Rain Room
In this file photo visitors gather in the 'Rain Room' installation at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Manhattan. The 5,000 square-foot installation creates a field of falling water that stops in the area where people walk through, allowing them to remain dry. The piece, created by Random International, releases a 260-gallon per minute shower around visitors. Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP.

SHANGHAI.- Volkswagen begins its activities as a cultural partner in China with the involvement of Volkswagen Group China in the Rain Room exhibition. Opened on Saturday evening in Shanghai, the exhibition marks the first display of Rain Room in China. The artwork created by the British-German artist collective, Random International, has already been met with great interest with displays in London and New York and for the first time occupies an area of 150m² in Shanghai so that it surpasses all previously exhibited versions.

Speaking to 300 invited guests, Budi Tek, founder of the YUZ foundation which operates the YUZ museum, and Klaus Biesenbach, Chief Curator at Large at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York and Director of MoMA PS1, who, together with Hans-Ulrich Obrist, was responsible for exhibition of Rain Room in New York, as well as Prof. Dr Jochem Heizmann, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China and member of the Executive Board of Volkswagen AG, underlined the role of the exhibition for the creative dialogue.

With the support of the exhibition, Volkswagen is making an important contribution to the construction of new bridges between Western and Asian art. In this way, Volkswagen is linking its activities in China to collaboration with its other international partners. Since 2011, there has been a close partnership between Volkswagen Group of America and MoMA as well as MoMA PS1. Additionally, Volkswagen Group has maintained a partnership with the Nationalgalerie-Staatliche Museen zu Berlin since 2013.

Prof. Dr Jochem Heizmann said at the opening: "Art and culture are the driving force behind innovation, because often it is above all artists who manage to ask questions which awaken the urge for new discoveries. Volkswagen therefore promotes interaction with creative work with the greatest conviction. By supporting this exhibition, we will provide the starting signal to establish a creative platform which offers people new inspiration and provides an interesting perspective on the significance of environmental sustainability."

With Rain Room, the artist group Random International has created an installation which combines technology and creative interaction in a unique way. Rain Room is a room in which it is constantly raining. As soon as people move inside the room, however, the rain is interrupted precisely at these points. This makes highly-developed digital control possible which provides an unexpected refuge for the visitor in the middle of torrential rain. Rain Room was first displayed in London and subsequently in the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). At the arrangement of Volkswagen, the idea matured to give the Chinese public the opportunity to experience this work. This idea was finally implemented together with the YUZ Foundation.

The YUZ Museum Shanghai exhibits Rain Room from 1 September to 31 December 2015 within the framework of a project partnership with Volkswagen Group China. The exhibition is supplemented with artistic learning opportunities for different ages which were also developed by YUZ Museum with the support of Volkswagen Group China. Volkswagen Group China will additionally invite Chinese users to reflect individually on the topic of water using various online channels in order to connect awareness of art and the environment.

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