Japan Car: Designs for a Crowded Globe
The world of Japanese car design set against the backdrop of Japan’s unique culture is explored in a sophisticated new exhibition at the Science Museum, from 29 November 2008.

Japan Car, an exploration of the car as a “mobile cell”, has been conceived by two world class names from outside the world of automobile: Kenya Hara, the man responsible for much of the success of Muji, and Shigeru Ban, the distinguished Japanese architect currently designing a new satellite gallery in Metz for Paris’ Pompidou Centre.

The exhibition, sponsored by seven Japanese car manufactures, shows how Japanese car design reflects the ‘soil and the spirit of Japan’, shown through concept cars and special home market models. Japan Car explores three themes while examining the future of mobility in cities. Japan, being both highly innovative and densely populated, can be seen as the driving force behind transport solutions for twenty-first century cities.

The exhibition will explore:
Size - small yet sophisticated vehicles and special kei cars, which are both compact and technologically advanced
Environment – climate-conscious hybrids intended to reduce carbon and other emissions
Moving urban cells – the future of transport as integrated systems rather than individual vehicles

As an exhibition of cars, alongside Japanese bonsai, art and design, Japan Car will display 14 unusual cars from the past decade and conceptual models, including the Nissan PIVO2 and Toyota i-REAL. When entering the exhibition, visitors will be greeted by an intriguing display of small model cars juxtaposed against live bonsai trees, the model cars taking the place of the natural stones which the Japanese often use to accompany bonsai trees. A specially commissioned painting by Akira Yamaguchi will conclude Japan Car. Yamaguchi’s work uses traditional Japanese painting techniques to convey his vision of the future of mobility.

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