This Zipper-Shaped Ship Looks Like It’s Unzipping Tokyo’s Famous Sumida River

Zip Fastener Ship by Yasuhiro Suzuki

Those who decide to take a stroll along Tokyo’s Sumida River this weekend might be lucky enough to spot something a little unusual. Designed by Japanese artist Yasuhiro Suzuki, the “Zip-Fastener Ship” is currently trailing through the water’s surface as if it’s creating a split in the waves. The outdoor installation, titled Opening the River, is part of DESIGNART Tokyo 2020.

Suzuki—who is known for drawing inspiration from everyday objects—first got the idea for the unusual ship design when looking down on Tokyo Bay from an airplane window. He observed  ships zipping across the water below, and thought about how they looked as though they were splitting apart the water (just like a zipper splits apart a jacket). He decided to take his vision further by creating a 9-meter-long ship in the shape of a jacket zipper.

Featuring a chrome-colored body, bridge, and puller (the three parts that make up a real zip), the Zip-Fastener Ship looks just like its tiny counterpart. The Sumida River was traditionally the border between the ancient provinces of Musashi and Shimousa, so the zipper ship is a visual reminder of the divide.

“If you look at the gently flowing Sumida River, you can see the swaying water that changes its shape due to the splash of waves that the ship has set up on the sparkling water surface that reflects the sky,” says the Sumida River Sumi-Yume Art Project. “As the ‘Fastener Ship’ sails, we will bring out and convey the various expressions of water that lurks around us.”

If you’re in Tokyo, you can find the Zip-Fastener Ship between the bridges of Azumabashi and Sakurabashi on the Sumida River, daily from 12 noon to 2pm through to Sunday, November 8, 2020.

The “Zip-Fastener Ship” by Japanese artist Yasuhiro Suzuki looks as though it's “unzipping” Tokyo's Sumida River.


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Yasuhiro Suzuki: Website | Instagram
h/t: [designboom]

All images via Yasuhiro Suzuki / Sumida River Sumi-Yume Art Project.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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