Operating from a distinctly Japanese sense of spatial recognition, teamLab are a Tokyo based collective of ultra-technologists, who navigate the realms of art, technology, design and nature through entrancing visual installations.
Transcending Boundaries is teamLab’s latest interactive exhibition, held at Pace Gallery in Mayfair, London. The exhibition spans over three rooms and showcases an exploration of digital technology within the art sphere, playing with the idea that digital technology allows art to transcend physical and conceptual boundaries and break free of their frames.
Using the latest computer modelling techniques, teamLab presents a series of their works including six never-seen-before installations. The largest room in the exhibition is home to Universe of Water Particles (2017), a virtual waterfall created using teamLab’s concept of ultra-subjective space. This computer generated water installation depicts hundreds and thousands of water particles flowing through the exhibition space.
In traditional Japanese paintings, bodies of water were expressed using a series of lines to give the impression of movement and life. This form of expression gives way to the manner in which Japanese people traditionally sensed life in rivers and oceans. Fusing the objective world of today with the subjective world of people from a bygone Japanese era, Universe of Water Particles reproduces the physical phenomena, allowing the viewer to become fully immersed in the waterfall and experience a connection to the way Japanese people once perceived nature.
The first room is also home to Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders, Ephemeral Life, an interactive installation which depicts butterflies flying through the exhibition room, seamlessly entering the space of other installations. The work is influenced by the behaviour of the viewers and the state of the other works. If a butterfly is touched, it looses its life.
The second room showcases Dark Waves (2016), a simulation of the movement of waves based on the behaviour of water particles in this state. The movement is projected in a three-dimensional space creating an immersive experience and a surreal proximity with the natural power of the force. The experience allows the viewer to transcend the boundary which separates themselves from the installation, leaving the intrinsic connection we have with both art and nature to prevail.
The last room enables the viewer to transcend one final boundary, by eliminating the separation between self and art. In the final installation, Flowers Bloom on People (2017) the body becomes the canvas. Activated by the viewer’s presence, the darkened room is interjected by blossoming flowers which are projected onto the body. A cycle of growth and decay commences in a state of continuous change, standing still prompts the flowers to bud, grow and blossom, while any movement causes them to wither and fade away. This cycle repeats itself in perpetuity.
Transcending Boundaries is a digital wonderland which expresses teamLab’s commitment to the advancement of digital art. It is exemplary of the collective’s unique ability to capture and nurture creativity and curiosity through their mesmerising blend of technology and art.
With special thanks to Pace Gallery for their hospitality and press materials.