Visiting teamLab Borderless is like setting on a journey that is equal parts psychedelic and brilliant. Imagine walking down a pitch-dark hallway that leads you into a never-before-seen immersive world created with spectacular digital art… and that’s just the beginning.
Wanting to promote Tokyo as an emerging innovative art hub, the masterminds behind the famous teamLab (Japan’s ‘ultra-technologists’) created one of the world’s most cutting-edge permanent exhibitions that awakens all senses as you traverse the dungeon-like 10,000-square-feet space. teamLab successfully shattered the stereotype of a conventional museum by creating art that is not tangible and transcends physical boundaries in the most captivating way. What you discover and experience as you wander from one dark room to another is nothing short of amazing.
A large-scale 3D space created with 520 computers and 470 projectors is split into five themed zones that are connected with flower-clad maze-like hallways. There are no set ways to see the exhibits. In fact, you’re encouraged to roam and connect with the artworks which in turn, also move in and out of the rooms freely. While each room has a seemingly distinct theme, all the artwork is interactive and influences and blends with one another. The digital displays also change constantly which results in a continuously changing art space with no two visits being exactly the same.
The interactive nature of the exhibit shatters boundaries between the viewer and the artwork as well, making you feel like you have become part of that art. You are encouraged to touch everything and see how it reacts to your movement. For example, flower-animals make an appearance on the walls moving through different rooms. Touch them and they’ll shed some blossoms; they might even acknowledge you. The walls and floors are covered with projected flowers. Touching them makes them scatter and wilt, while standing on an empty spot will sprout flowers. There are also butterflies flying around – tap them and they’ll die.
In short, the museum is a heaven for lovers of Instagram-worthy and digital art pieces. From the dazzling room full of LEDs, to strobe light show to mesmerizing infinity room filled with colorful light-bulbs there is plenty to catch your imagination. I visited two days in a row discovering every intimate nook and cranny of this magical world that truly boggles your mind. And because I love teasing and inspiring you, here are a few of my favorite portrait shots from our visit. I hope you’ll get to visit the museum one day and experience this magic for yourself.
Practical Tips: Tickets are easy to book, with English online booking system available on teamLab’s site. Book well in advance as the exhibition is very popular. I recommend setting aside a few hours to see it all. Eat beforehand, as there’s no food available once inside the museum. Wear white or light-colored clothes so that you don’t blend with the artwork. Wear flat shoes as there are a number of places in the museum where heels and sandals aren’t permitted. Lockers are available for you to store your belongings before entering. You might also consider wearing trousers since many of the rooms have mirrored floors.
Find more information and book tickets on teamLab’s official website.
What is the most memorable art exhibition you have been to? What did you find memorable or surprising about it?
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