Once upon a teamLab
As art has gradually become synonymous with the worlds of entertainment, technology, design and science, one of the world's leading "multiverse" practitioners, Tokyo's art collective teamLab, debuts SuperNature at The Venetian Macao. In terms of interaction with art, the stakes are raised even higher by becoming more immersive across the Cotai Expo Hall's enormous 54,000-square-foot space.
SuperNature, which just opened on January 21 and runs until the end of March, is a single, massive world comprised of works of art that aim to explore new perceptions of the world and ideas of continuity between humans and nature. The art collective transforms the space into a 3D world with varying elevations, as it becomes a "body immersive" museum focused on a group of works that blur boundaries between people's bodies and art.
And that's where teamLab really gets interesting – and what puts the experience of being in one of its "arenas" a more alternative adventure than even the dotty thrill of walking around in the "cosmos" of Yayoi Kusama's ubiquitous Infinity Mirror Rooms. The people in SuperNature influence and become a part of the artworks themselves. As such, people become one with the art, and make creative choices about how they see and what they see, blurring perceptions between appearance and reality, and of the self and the world.
The show is comprised of various different teamLab ecosystems, almost as though moving through the cosmos on separate planets. Through The Infinite Crystal Universe, people can use their smartphones to select elements that make up the universe by dragging and releasing them. Each element of the universe sent into the work then influences the other elements and is constantly changing depending upon the presence of people in the space. It is thus an evolving but never finite work.
In Mountain of Flowers and People, the seasons change gradually across the installation space. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity. If a person stays still, the flowers surrounding them grow and bloom abundantly. If viewers touch or step on the flowers, plants shed their petals, wither and die all at once. One key aspect to teamLab's offering is that the film is not a prerecorded animation, nor on loop, but rendered in real time by a computer program. Again, interaction and immersion on the part of the viewer causes continuous change in the cycle of the artwork; previous visual states can never be replicated and will never reoccur in the same way. Art doesn't just replicate nature; it becomes second nature.
And then there's the impressive Expanding Three-Dimensional Existence in Transforming Space, in which the arena is filled with orbs of free-floating light. The space's shape is determined by the collection of floating spheres, and changes according to people's actions (pushing or colliding). Depending on the degree of entanglement of the orbs, and wind and pressure changes, the shape of the space itself will change, with empty spaces becoming high density and spheres rising to the ceiling all at once. All of it is in 11 different colours based on Japanese silk and the effects of light on nature.
That's just three of the miniature universes, among which teamLab will include new pieces. This is one show you could visit on repeat, it's so addictive. It's like digital Twister for the Gen-Z set and the most Instagrammable art/life experience you ever hoped to post. Get your platforms charged and start teamLabbing.