BMW Unveils It's 12th Art Car: The i5 Flow NOSTOKANA

In collaboration with South African artist Esther Mahlangu and E Ink.

Automotive
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At the recent Frieze Art Fair in Los Angeles, BMW unveiled its 12th art car, the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA, a vehicle that blends both art and technology into a single innovative work. This vehicle showcases the latest in color-change technology developed by BMW in collaboration with E Ink, alongside the artistic prowess of South African artist Esther Mahlangu.

The BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA’s exterior features electronically animated sections of film that bring to life Mahlangu’s signature vibrant colors and geometric patterns. This technology, similar to that of an e-book screen, employs millions of microcapsules in the E Ink film, allowing for the dynamic alteration of the car’s appearance with an electric charge. The result, a vehicle that represents both automotive innovation and serves as a moving canvas for the artist.

Mahlangu, known for her Ndebele-inspired art, has once again left her mark on the BMW Art Car series, having first done so in 1991 with a BMW 525i that was recently showcased in a collaborative exhibition with the Iziko Museums of South Africa. The BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA is named after Mahlangu’s first son and symbolizes a blend of tradition and future, a tribute to Mahlangu’s groundbreaking work and her role as the first woman and first African artist to design a BMW Art Car.

The vehicle’s unveiling at Frieze Los Angeles also celebrates BMW’s ongoing commitment to global cultural engagement. With an extraordinary sound design by Renzo Vitale that mixes elements of Ndebele culture with BMW’s acoustic identity, turning the car into both a visual spectacle and an auditory experience.

Notably, the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA further accentuates the concept that a vehicle is more than just a mode of transport but rather a form of self and cultural expression.

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