There are a countless number of ways to express art. While some stick to the traditional paintbrush, others have gone digital. MORI Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless in Tokyo is the one of the world’s first museums that solely displays digital art. If anyone enters the 100,000-square-foot-space, it feels like entering another realm.
520 computers and 470 projectors provide a space to produce 50 surreal digital illusions that merge fantastically as you move on from one art piece to the next. Some might even modify or respond to the viewer’s movements. Artists have mostly digitized the nature around them such as blooming flowers, crashing waves and birds flying, with the purpose of making the visitor realize their relationship with nature in this digitized world. TeamLab explains, “The boundaries between the body and the work become ambiguous, which may become the starting point for people to think about their relationship with the world.”
The museum’s labyrinth divides into five sections: Borderless World, Athletics Forest, Future Park, Forest of Lamps and En Tea House. They are separated over two floors and create a sequence of shifting 3-D spaces to make it more interactive with the visitors. One of the examples is that of Drawing on the Water Surface by the Dance of Koi and People that created a responsive fishpond. As viewers walk into the knee-high liquid, the space lights up and they can see animated Koi fish that move around randomly within the space. However, if they collide with the visitor or even another fish, they dissipate, leaving behind colorful streams.
TeamLab explained the wisdom behind their ideas by saying, “digital art has been liberated from the constraints of material substance. The feelings and thoughts that were incorporated into an artwork through a physical medium can now be directly transferred to visitors through experience.”
Other works of art include Cold Life by Sisyu, where viewers watch 3-D ink strokes transform from the Japanese symbol for “life” into a cherry blossom tree. In the Expanding Three-dimensional Existence in Transforming Space, visitors watch huge suspended globes of light and in Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers in which one can see the seasonal variations in flora. There are many many other art works like these where you can even lie down and let your mind wander into the digitized nature.
This isn’t the first time something like this has come through or become viral. However, it is certainly the first of its kind to dedicate an entire museum to digitized art.
According to the creators “We want visitors to understand how digital technology can expand the conception of art and furthermore, that these techniques can liberate art from a value system based only on physical materials. We hope that this exhibit will encourage people to rethink the relationship between humans and nature as well as their relationship with the world.”