Imagine a world without rules, constraints or limits, a universe alive with shapes, colours and sounds, inspired by Japanese art from the past, yet oﬀ ering something refreshingly innovative and new. Welcome to teamLab Borderless.
During the Edo Period (1603-1868), most people did not perceive borders between themselves and nature, nor between the natural and the supernatural. It was a culturally isolated time of spirits and mystery and, as Japan has moved through the 20th and into the 21st Century, most of that culture and way of thinking have gradually disappeared. However, some amazing remnants of that unique time still can be found in the most unlikely of places, one such unexpected spot being the futuristic world of teamLab Borderless.
teamLab Borderless represents the accumulation of the diligence and technological prowess of the Tokyo-based art collective teamLab. As the group’s largest permanent exhibition, teamLab Borderless provides a unique place where visitors can wander, explore and discover art that moves around, communicates with and inﬂ uences everything within the surrounding environment, almost as if the pieces themselves were alive. Almost impossible to picture? Think of it like this: A crow can ﬂ y around freely and land wherever it pleases but, if it collides with a flower, some of that flower’s petals will be blown away. Actually, this example does not represent a figurative crow, but is in fact just one of the many fascinating artworks within the teamLab Borderless exhibition.
The art collective teamLab spent several years creating software that can project the exhibition’s “living art” seamlessly, and a few more years developing a wide range of technologies to use within teamLab Borderless’ expansive (10,000m2) space. They derived the name “Borderless” from the concept of a world that can be freely explored and freely inhabited by artworks that act freely, reﬂ ecting the reality of human experience. The overarching artistic principle is this: Since humans can feel the ﬂ ow and change of time, art should too. These fundamental ideas encapsulate the thinking behind the teamLab Borderless exhibition, in which the ideas themselves allow the space to become its own ethereal and corporeal living world.
Its futuristic nature notwithstanding, teamLab Borderless accurately reflects ancient peoples’ concepts of a borderless world. Much like the spirits and creatures that populate traditional Japanese art, the featured pieces resonate with mystery, alluding to a world beyond the one in which we live, and, using cutting-edge technological advances, sometimes they seem even more alive and magical than reality itself. At teamLab Borderless, a new world in which anything is possible awaits. Discovering the meaning of this “anything” is the exhibition’s greatest, most marvelous mystery.
MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless
Address: Odaiba Palette Town 2F, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Hours: Weekdays 10pm-7pm Sun, Sat & Holiday 10pm-9pm
Closed: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, June 22, 2019