2024 BMW Art Car by Esther Mahlangu
Car Style: The BMW Art Car by Esther Mahlangu

The BMW Group presents a fusion of art and innovation at the Frieze Los Angeles art fair in the form of the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA. The one-of-a-kind vehicle combines colour-change technology developed by BMW with the artistic language of South African artist Esther Mahlangu. The designer piece, with sections of attached film that can be electronically animated, embodies the latest development in colour-change technology for vehicle surfaces in cooperation with E Ink.

The BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA celebrates its world premiere at the fair opening on 29 February. The contemporary tribute recalls the BMW Art Car designed by Mahlangu in 1991.

2024 BMW Art Car by Esther Mahlangu - Rear Stance

“The BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA honours the history of the BMW brand and continues the story of our global cultural engagement in a unique way. It combines art and design through progressive technology. Here, technology itself becomes art,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design.

In 1991, Mahlangu designed the 12th BMW Art Car, based on a BMW 525i – becoming the first woman and first African artist to do so. “Her art inspired me years ago, back when the concept of colour change on a car was just an idea in my head,” says Stella Clarke, Research Engineer Open Innovations at the BMW Group.

2024 BMW Art Car by Esther Mahlangu - Studio Stance

Now, being able to realise this idea, and work with Esther Mahlangu, is absolutely surreal.” The 88-year-old artist’s signature colours and geometric patterns are perfect for bringing the innovative Flow technology to life in the BMW i5. The versatility of the electrophoretic colour changes makes the fully-electric sedan a dynamic work of art. “It is fascinating to me to see how modern technology can expand my art and make it accessible to a completely new audience,” says Mahlangu.

2024 BMW Art Car by Esther Mahlangu
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