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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

Tokyo Gears Up for Its First Digital Surround Art Experience

TOKYO – Hectic preparations were underway on Wednesday as the more than 500 team members of a Japanese digital art company geared up for the imminent opening of an innovative museum in Tokyo, which is set to offer visitors the experience of walking on planets, black holes or a whale swimming underfoot.

The museum, conceptualized by Japanese digital art company TeamLab, known for its avant-garde works, would be installing half a thousand projectors over 10,000 square meters (107639 sq feet), to permanently display its spectacular three-dimensional works at the MORI Building Digital Art center located in the Tokyo Bay.

The museum, which will open its doors to the public on June 21, is the first such large space to be dedicated exclusively to digital art and a single group of creators, making it “unique in the world,” said the director of the center Ou Sungiyama, during a preview.

It took three years to build this ode to digital art in a physical space that aims to “make the world understand through bodies,” said TeamLab founder, Toshiyuki Inoko.

Once immersed in three-dimensional spaces, nature – as the main and favorite theme of the collective – connects with the human body in each of the 50 permanent works displayed in a museum that aspires to offer “experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” according to Inoko.

Walking with butterflies fluttering around the feet or small fishes swimming are just some of the ways in which the museum plans to connect the visitors with the digital art that seems to dissolve borders, spread across five floors of the museum.

It is very easy to get lost in the corridors that connect one area with another and that is, truly, the intention of TeamLab, according to Inoko, who added that they decided not to include instructions or directions for visitors in order to push them to explore by themselves.

Millions of light and mirror, and sound effects would accentuate the visitor’s engagement with the borderless art on display.

Everything can be touched in this interactive art exhibition that constantly evokes huge forests where visitors can modify elements through downloadable apps on mobile phones.

Touring this museum can take more than two hours where in addition to the works on display, one can even savor a myriad variety of tea served at The House of Tea.

“We want to promote and improve culture with digital art in Tokyo,” the director of the museum, which would be charging 3,200 yen ($28) as entry fee for adults, told EFE.

TeamLab, which has had a successful run in Asia for the last 15 years, has also taken its concept of digital art to other continents through various exhibitions both in the United States and Europe, and hopes its Tokyo museum would inspire similar future initiatives.


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