Saturday, August 21, 2010

Marketing Japan: The Zipper Motor Boat

This is one fine idea just out of Japan. It's a motorboat that "unzips" the ocean.

The 2010 Setouchi International Art Festival provides plenty of up close, hands-on exhibits for visitors to wonder at but one of the most interesting artworks is best viewed from afar... or even better, from the sky. That's because the unusual Zipper Motorboat crafted by Japanese avant-garde artist Yasuhiro Suzuki works when taken in context: cruising over a serene ocean bay, leaving a long wake behind it.

It's appropriate that Suzuki (left) bases his project on the zipper. Though first invented and patented in the United States nearly a century ago, 75 percent of the zippers made today are produced by YKK in Japan and at satellite plants across the globe. 

It's also fitting that Suzuki seeks "to divide the sea by a gigantic zipper"... and, as zippers do, connect the oceans, continents and people of our fractious planet through the medium of his art.

Suzuki's zipper boat is based on a small scale model he built in 2004 and successfully tested on a local pond. The full-size version is currently undergoing sea trials to evaluate its rollover risk - until it's certified, Suzuki won't be allowed to carry passengers. This short video shows the Zipper Motorboat in action - it's not exactly  "zipping" across the water but you know, rollover risk and all:


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