This suite of interconnected artworks by teamLab takes audiences on an exploration of the ambiguity between living and nonliving states of being, and the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
The installation is the culmination of the collaborative practice of teamLab, an interdisciplinary collective of artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, and architects that aims to transcend boundaries of perception, demonstrate the continuity of time, and explore the relationship between the self and the world.
Universe of Water Particles, Transcending Boundaries
The water in Universe of Water Particles, Transcending Boundaries is represented by a continuum of numerous water particles. The interaction between the particles is calculated, and then lines are drawn in relation to the behavior of the water particles. The lines are “flattened” using what teamLab considers to be ultrasubjective space.
When a person stands on the waterfall, they obstruct the flow of water like a rock, and the flow of water changes. The flow of water continues to transform due to the interaction of people. Previous visual states can never be replicated and will never reoccur.
The flow of the waterfall in this artwork influences others in the exhibition.
Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together - Transcending Boundaries, A Whole Year per Hour
This artwork is in continuous change, transcending the boundaries between itself and other works. The works in the exhibition are connected as the water from the Universe of Water Particles artwork creates an impact on this artwork also causing the flowers to scatter. Over a period of one hour, a year’s worth of seasonal flowers blossoms and dissipates.
Flowers are born, grow, bloom, and eventually scatter and die. The cycle of birth and death repeats itself in perpetuity. When visitors remain still, flowers are born; when visitors touch the flowers and move within the installation, the flowers disperse.
In spring in the Kunisaki Peninsula, there are many cherry blossoms in the mountains and canola blossoms at their base. This experience of nature caused teamLab to wonder how many of these flowers were planted by people and how many were native to the environment. It is a place of great serenity and contentment, but the expansive body of flowers is an ecosystem influenced by human intervention, and the boundary between the work of nature and the work of humans is unclear. Rather than nature and humans being in conflict, a healthy ecosystem is one that includes people.
In the past, people understood that they could not grasp nature in its entirety, and that it is not possible to control nature. People lived more closely aligned to the rules of nature that created a comfortable natural environment. Before the modern era, civilization prospered by the sea. Since then, it has moved inland, leaving isolated pockets of people in the solitary valleys. We believe that these valleys hold faint traces of this premodern relationship with nature that once existed.
The installation is not a pre-recorded image that is played back: it is created by a computer program that continuously renders the work in real time. The interaction between visitor and the artwork causes continuous change in the artwork: previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur. Images created in the artwork are unique and can never be seen again.
Proliferating Immense Life - A Whole Year per Year
Throughout the year, with the passing of time, flowers bloom and change. They bud, grow, and blossom before their petals begin to wither and eventually fade away. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity. When visitors touch the flowers in Proliferating Immense Life - A Whole Year per Year, the flowers scatter, wither, and die.
The installation is not a pre-recorded image that is played back: it is created by a computer program that continuously renders the work in real time. The interaction between people and the artwork causes continuous change in the artwork: previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur. Images created in the artwork are unique and can never be seen again.
teamLab is an interdisciplinary art collective founded in 2001 in Tokyo, whose team includes several hundred specialists. At the heart of their practice lies the belief that everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous, borderless continuity. In order to understand the world around them, people separate it into independent entities with perceived boundaries between them. teamLab seeks to transcend these boundaries in our perception of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world, and of the continuity of time.
Their immersive installations fuse art and science to encourage meaningful interactions with both the work and other people. As we move around the space, our very presence—along with those of other participants—provoke flowers to bloom and waterfalls to change the course of their flow. We are reminded that there is strength in the collective and are invited to reconnect with the world and marvel at its beauty.