What happens when you combine 520 computers, 470 projectors, and up to 100 self-described 'ultra-technologists'? teamLab decided to find out.
Since 2001, the Japanese artist collective – which comprises artists, architects, mathematicians and more – has been pushing the boundaries of art with their immersive, often ephemeral, digital works. The group has held wildly popular exhibitions across the world, and their eye-catching installations are shared widely on social media. They recently took a major step by opening Borderless, a bricks-and-mortar museum in Tokyo. It is the first institution in the world to be devoted to digital artworks, and one in which online sharing takes centre stage.
teamLab Borderless, which opened in Tokyo’s Odaiba district recently and spans 10,000 square metres, was created in collaboration with Mori Building, a property management firm with a strong track record of supporting the arts and cultural sector in Japan. The museum features 50 of teamLab’s large-scale works, which are organised into five sections: Borderless World; Athletics Forest; Future Park; Forest of Lamps; and the En Tea House. Every exhibit is interactive, responding to visitors’ movements to create an ever-changing display of light and colour.
'We want visitors to understand how digital technology can expand the conception of art. The art we create is made up of both the art and the viewer, and the existence and behaviour of the viewer can influence the art.'
Among the exhibits is Flower Forest: Lost, Immersed and Reborn, 2017, a room covered in projections of flowers that wilt when touched or stood upon, while others grow when visitors remain still. Forest of Resonating Lamps, 2016, features a series of lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, each of which changes colour when approached, while Multi Jumping Universe, 2018, allows visitors to form planets by jumping up and down in an outer-space themed room with a bouncy floor. At the heart of these works is a desire not only to bridge the gap between art and its audience, but also to initiate a 'shift in the relationship between the individual viewer and the crowd', teamLab says.