The art collective teamLab has returned to Mifuneyama Rakuen Park on the Japanese island of Kyushu to premier a new exhibition titled ‘a forest where gods live, ruins and heritage – the nature of time’. The show is being held concurrently with an annual sprawling nighttime exhibition. As part of the exhibits, which both remain on view until november 4, 2019, teamLab has unveiled its latest monumental artwork — a piece titled ‘megaliths in the bath house ruins’.
Within the ruins of the park’s abandoned bath house, teamLab has installed a series of volumes that appear to have emerged out of the floor. These megaliths feature artwork that is continuously rendered in real time by a computer program — it is neither prerecorded, nor on loop. consequently, previous states never occur again, and the artwork is continuously changing due to the movement of people. “Every moment is unique and can never be seen again,” say the artists.
The following artworks exist in the artwork space of the three-dimensional objects grouped in these bath house ruins.
・Flowers and People
This artwork is in a state of continuous change. Over a period of one hour, a year’s worth of seasonal flowers blossoms and scatters. The flowers bud, grow, and blossom before their petals begin to wither and eventually fade away. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity. If a person stays still, the flowers surrounding them grow and bloom more abundantly.
・Universe of Water Particles
Multiple waterfalls cascade down the three-dimensional objects.
When people approach the artwork, the flow of the water changes. The movement of people influences the artwork, causing it to evolve continuously, while the artwork influences other works. For instance, the water causes the flowers in the work Flowers and People to scatter. Hideaki Takahashi has developed the soundtrack for the exhibition, which is sponsored by Grand Seiko and is on view from now until november 4, 2019.
Climbing frames, lighting effects and countless selfie opportunities: when directors warn of museums as amusement parks, they most likely mean exactly such institutions as the immersive Borderless Museum in Tokyo. But amusement parks are also popular favorites. On its one-year anniversary, the exhibition hall, which is owned by the artist collective teamLab, has become the most visited museum dedicated to a single artist worldwide.
Visitors from 160 countries visited teamLab Borderless and the temporary light installation teamLab Planets, one-third of them are from the US. With a total of 3.5 million visitors last year, teamLab easily surpassed institutions such as the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum (2.1 million visitors) and the Dalí Museum in the Catalan city of Figueres (1.1 million visitors).
You might dismiss Team Lab Borderless as one of the countless pop-up museums that offer the perfect Instagram backdrop for similarly high ticket prices and little or nothing to do with art, but it’s not that easy. teamLab sees itself as a collective of artists, more specifically as an “interdisciplinary group of ultra-technologists whose collective practice aspires to the confluence of art, science, technology, design and nature”. This actionist endeavor to break the boundaries between art and the world, the Boderless Museum already in the title, with its numerous learning and adventure programs for children, it also pursues a pedagogical approach.
The work of the collective is regularly featured in institutions such as the National Gallery Singapore and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, represented by the Pace Gallery, which also represents Sol LeWitt, Lynda Benglis and James Turrell. Everything indicates that the Borderless may actually call itself an art museum – and with its cabinet of mirrors, projections and copies wonderfully hits the nerve of the time.