"A beautiful place" is the theme of Pirelli 2021 Annual Report. And The factory is a Beautiful Place, because it can create and inspire beauty. The connection between these two realities is strong, actually “even intrinsic”, as the philosopher and theologian, Vito Mancuso observes in his opening essay of Pirelli Annual Report 2021. He says “factory and beauty, which is economics and aesthetic, are united by an essential element for both of them: resource.” The resource’s transformation creates products and work of art, productiveness and magnificence, thanks to humans handcraft, since factory and art, first of all, are “manufacturing”.
Discover the project: “A Beautiful Place. The Art of Manufacturing"
To underline this connection we asked artists to visit some of our production plants in China, United States, Romania, Brazil and Italy and to be inspired by architecture, technology, people, sounds to create their works, made of resource and ingenuity.
Tu Yonghong, the representative inheritor of Chinese paper-cut art and director of Xi'an paper-cut Institute, is also among the global artists participating in this project. She was invited to looking for inspiration in Pirelli's factory in Yanzhou, Shandong Province, China, and express her vision and views on "A beautiful place" through paper-cut art works.
Pirelli established 3 local factories since entered in China in 2005. Among them, both Yanzhou and Shenzhou factory are located in HIXIH Industrial Park, Yanzhou, Shandong Province. Pirelli APAC R&D and Innovation Center is also located in the same industry park, deploying the latest innovations and technologies.
"Pirelli's factory has reshaped my understanding of tyre manufacturing. I have seen a lot of things that subvert the 'tradition', such as industry 4.0 of the tyre industry, intelligent manufacturing equipment full of a sense of future and technology, and so on. But how to convey what I see and feel to paper-cut works is very challenging. I must break the traditional way of paper-cut conception." said Tu Yonghong.
"Aesthetics is one of the best values created by factories. It is a place that the wisdom of humans and the power of science and technology can be transformed into productive forces, giving products value and soul. In this sense, the factory is a place that can produce beauty and stimulate creativity, artistic power, culture and inspiration.“
China Intangible Cultural Heritage Created "Driving Toward the Future" in the Eyes of the Artist
Chinese paper-cut art originated in the sixth century AD and was selected as Patrimoine Culturel Immatériel (Human Intangible Cultural Heritage). It is a folk art of cutting patterns on paper with scissors or carving knives. The art of paper-cut is shaped by "symbolism" (以象寓意) and "meaning conformation"(construct the image based on the meaning) (以意构象). It often combines a variety of objects and images, and makes good use of analogy to create artistic conception and convey auspicious metaphor- which has become one of the ultimate purposes of image combination.
With more than 1,000 representative works created over 20 years, Tu Yonghong has been committed to the creation of paper-cut art and the dissemination and promotion of folk culture, and has carried out cultural and artistic exchange activities all over the world.
"After deeply understanding the brand vision and culture, I tried to break through the previous creative way. The creative thinking has gone through a long time. Finally, based on ‘industry and ‘innovation’, I created two works that stand from the present and with a view to the future, to illustrate such a brand that positioned at the forefront of the industry, respects tradition but is committed to continuous innovation." Ms.Tu said.
This group of paper-cut art works created by Tu Yonghong is called "Driving Toward the Future". The 2 art works covering the retrospect of tradition, the development of tyre industry, and the imagination of the future world. In the first one, the Great Wall of China- the World Cultural Heritage and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, meanders and extends with P ZERO tyre pattern on the ground, symbolizing the steady and down-to-earth development of Pirelli throughout its 150-year history is just like climbing the Great Wall. The image of the iconic sculpture in Yanzhou factory represents that Pirelli has been deeply rooted in the Chinese market since 2005, then forged ahead and made outstanding achievements.
From the simple wheels of historical horse drawn cars to high-tech equipment such as mechanical arms have been introduced into the tyre production process, the great development of the tyre industry was condensed under the artist's hands. The second art work shows the future mobility, where new energy and environmentally friendly transportation have been fully implemented, and vehicles and tyres have a more scientific and technological appearance and many super functions beyond imagination. The ability of humans to explore the limits of the world and the universe will also be greatly extended. The reappear of P Zero classic patterns represents Pirelli's concept of focusing on the future and seeking innovation and development. Pirelli's historical development, industry prospect and continuous pursuit of sustainable and innovation are all reflected on the paper-cut art works.
The creation process of paper-cut is highly similar to the initial design process of tyre pattern in some degree. Just like a Sgorbiatore - tyre craftsman carving the actual tread pattern according to the virtual design, the paper-cut artist also need accurate calculation, stable and accurate operation process to produce a masterpiece.
"Beauty is a borderless and formless. Creative ability of humans enables the ‘culture of beauty’ to be expressed and inherited through hands." Tu Yonghong said," it's a great honor to use paper cutting, a Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage art with a history of thousands of years, to interpret the spiritual core of the brand and the theme of Pirelli Annual Report on the occasion of its’ 150th anniversary. This is a very unforgettable and challenging project I have experienced. The combination of an innovative company and a traditional art form is so complementary. The brand new subject have given new vitality to paper cutting art."