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Museum
Lighting the way

With a huge new immersive art space under construction on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island and a permanent museum taking shape in Jeddah, teamLab is changing the face of immersive digital art. Magali Robathan speaks to the team behind the magic


Since 2001, art collective teamLab has been creating jaw-dropping digital art installations. Their interactive exhibitions involve the viewer in the artworks – over the years visitors worldwide have watched waterfalls part at their feet, birds fly from their dinner plates and flowers bloom and then wither as they pass.

While the early years saw teamLab create art in relative obscurity, the past decade has seen the collective become increasingly well known, with major exhibitions around the world. In 2021, teamLab Borderless Tokyo was announced as the most visited single-artist museum in the world. The collective now has permanent exhibition spaces in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Macau, with their teamLab Borderless Tokyo museum relocating to Azabudai Hills in central Tokyo – due to open next year.

teamlab Phenomena Abu Dhabi – a huge 17,000sq m multisensory art space on Saadiyat Island – is set to complete construction in 2024, and will sit alongside the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

A further permanent teamLab museum is being constructed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as part of a collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Culture. teamLab Borderless Jeddah will be located on the Al Arbaeen Lagoon overlooking the old town, and will feature more than 50 artworks, with a brand new installation created for Jeddah.

Here the collective answer our questions.

How would you sum up teamLab and what you do?
teamLab is an international art collective that seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world. Through art, our interdisciplinary group of specialists – including artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, and architects – aims to explore the relationship between the self and the world, and new forms of perception.

teamLab seeks to transcend boundaries in our perceptions of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world, and of the continuity of time. We believe that everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous, borderless continuity.

In the interactive artworks created by teamLab, the presence and movement of visitors transforms the art – visitors become a part of the work. This changes the relationship between an artwork and an individual into a relationship between an artwork and a group of individuals. Suddenly the way the person standing next to you behaves becomes important. We wanted to create a space where you can feel that you’re connected with other people in the world.

What’s the history of teamLab?
teamLab was founded in 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko and several of his friends to create a ‘laboratory to experiment in collaborative creation’. Through art, teamLab was (and is) interested in creating new experiences to explore what the world is for humans.

The collective has been creating art ever since, with the aim of contributing to societal progress.

You’ve gone from relative obscurity to huge success. How has this changed what you do?
In the beginning, teamLab didn’t have the opportunity to present its work, nor could we work out how to financially sustain our art creation. However, we believed in the power of digital technology and creativity, and kept creating.

As time went on, while teamLab gained passionate followers, we were still ignored by the art world. Our breakthrough came in 2011 at the Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei, to which the collective was invited by the artist Takashi Murakami. Since then, teamLab has gained opportunities to join major contemporary art exhibitions in cosmopolitan cities starting with the Singapore Biennale 2013.

In 2014, New York PACE Gallery started to help promote teamLab artworks, enabling us to expand rapidly, and in 2015, the collective was finally able to organise its own exhibition for the first time in Tokyo.

These events led to opportunities to exhibit internationally, in New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Taipei, and Melbourne among others. As of today, teamLab has welcomed more than 35 million visitors to our art exhibitions.

All we do is create artworks that we believe in – our hope is that our work reaches people’s hearts and changes their behaviour and ways of thinking. Popularity is just a by-product of that.

What can people expect from teamLab Borderless Jeddah?
teamLab Borderless Jeddah is the first-ever permanent teamLab Borderless museum to open in the Middle East.

Located in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, it’s currently being built on the shores of Al-Arbaeen Lagoon overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Historic Jeddah. 

This immersive museum will comprise over 50 artworks spread across its labyrinthine spaces, including Borderless World, Athletics Forest and Future Park. It will also feature an entirely new installation created exclusively for Jeddah. 

teamLab Borderless is based on the concept that everything exists in a borderless continuity.

In order to comprehend the world, people separate it into parts, creating boundaries in between. Through this exhibition, teamLab aims to create a place in which various artworks are connected with one other without boundaries, giving visitors an opportunity to rethink their perception of the world, and discover that continuity itself is beautiful.

At teamLab Borderless Jeddah, the artworks leave rooms, move through the halls and influence other artworks. For instance, the ‘crows’ flying in a given space initially came from a different room to enter that space. As they fly about, they affect other artworks, causing ‘flowers’ to scatter and fall.

The artworks are also affected and changed by the presence of people – when visitors stand still in a space, the flow of the waterfall will change around their feet, and flowers will begin to bloom in their wake.

What can you tell us about teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi?
Housed in a 17,000sq m venue within the Saadiyat Culture District, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi will offer a completely new art experience based on teamLab’s new concept, Environmental Phenomena.

This experience will consist of a selection of dynamic works by teamLab. Visitors will be immersed into a world that organically changes and evolves through the participation and actions of the people in it.

A key characteristic of the experience is the environment and the various phenomena created by it. Unlike stones or man-made creations that can maintain a stable structure on their own, the artworks at teamLab Phenomena don’t exist independently, but are dependent on their environment.

Elements like air, water, and light are transformed by their environment into unique phenomena that become works of art. The boundaries of their existence are ambiguous and continuous. Even if people destroy the work, the work will remain in existence as long as its environment is maintained – and will disappear, if it’s not maintained.

The venue is set to complete construction in 2024, and will sit alongside the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

teamLab Borderless Tokyo was announced as the most visited single artist museum in 2021. Why was it so popular?
All we can say is that teamLab believes that digital technology can expand art and that art made in this way can create new relationships between people, as well as between viewers and the artwork.

Digital technology enables complex detail and freedom for change. Before people started accepting digital technology, information and artistic expression had to be presented in some physical form.

Creative expression has existed through static media for most of human history, often using physical objects such as canvas and paint. The advent of digital technology allows human expression to become free from these physical constraints, enabling it to exist independently and evolve freely.

No longer limited to physical media, digital technology has made it possible for artworks to expand physically. Since art created using digital technology can easily expand, it provides us with a greater degree of autonomy within the space. We are now able to manipulate and use much larger spaces, and viewers are able to experience the artwork more directly.

The characteristics of digital technology allow artworks to express the capacity for change much more freely. Viewers, in interaction with their environment, can instigate perpetual change in an artwork. Through an interactive relationship between the viewers and the artwork, viewers become an intrinsic part of that artwork.

teamLab exhibitions
Permanent exhibitions:
• teamLab SuperNature Macao

Soft opened June 2020 at the Venetian Macao

• teamLab Massless Beijing

Opened in Chaoyang Joy City, Beijing in December 2022

• teamLab Botanical Gardens Osaka

Opened in July 2022, this open air museum features teamLab’s artworks at the Nagai Botanical Garden in Osaka

• Future World: Where Art Meets Science, Art Science Museum, Singapore

Opened in March 2016

Upcoming exhibitions:
• Upcoming exhibitions:

No opening date has yet been released for this permanent new teamLab museum, set to be located on Culture Square in Jeddah

• teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi

With construction due for completion in 2024, this new 17,000sq m art museum will be housed in a curved organically-shaped building on the waterfront on Saadiyat Island

• teamLab Borderless: MORI Building Digital Art Museum, Tokyo

Scheduled to re-open in early 2024, in Toyko’s Azabudai Hills, this museum replaces teamLab Borderless in Odaiba, which closed in August 2022. In 2021, the museum in Odaiba was announced as the world’s most visited single art group museum

Many of teamLab’s works react to the movement of the people viewing it Credit: Photo: teamLab, Microcosmoses © teamLab
Credit: image: © DCT Abu Dhabi
Forest of Resonating Lamps featured numerous glass lamps fitted with sensors Credit: Photo: teamLab, Forest of Resonating Lamps - One Stroke, Spring Mountain Fields © teamLab
Visitors can change the flow of ‘water’ by interacting with the work Credit: Photo: teamLab, The Way of the Sea, Flying Beyond Borders - Colors of Life © teamLab
The Floating Flower Garden at teamLab Planets in Tokyo Credit: Photo: teamLab, Floating Flower Garden: Flowers and I are of the Same Root, the Garden and I are One © teamLab
COMPANY PROFILES
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
Taylor Made Designs

Taylor Made Designs (TMD) has been supplying the Attractions, Holiday Park, Zoos and Theme Park mark [more...]
IAAPA EMEA

IAAPA Expo Europe was established in 2006 and has grown to the largest international conference and [more...]
Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976. Polin has since grown into a leading company in the waterpa [more...]
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08-08 May 2024

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Hotel Melià , Milano , Italy
04-07 Nov 2024

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In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
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Museum
Lighting the way

With a huge new immersive art space under construction on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island and a permanent museum taking shape in Jeddah, teamLab is changing the face of immersive digital art. Magali Robathan speaks to the team behind the magic


Since 2001, art collective teamLab has been creating jaw-dropping digital art installations. Their interactive exhibitions involve the viewer in the artworks – over the years visitors worldwide have watched waterfalls part at their feet, birds fly from their dinner plates and flowers bloom and then wither as they pass.

While the early years saw teamLab create art in relative obscurity, the past decade has seen the collective become increasingly well known, with major exhibitions around the world. In 2021, teamLab Borderless Tokyo was announced as the most visited single-artist museum in the world. The collective now has permanent exhibition spaces in Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Macau, with their teamLab Borderless Tokyo museum relocating to Azabudai Hills in central Tokyo – due to open next year.

teamlab Phenomena Abu Dhabi – a huge 17,000sq m multisensory art space on Saadiyat Island – is set to complete construction in 2024, and will sit alongside the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

A further permanent teamLab museum is being constructed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as part of a collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Culture. teamLab Borderless Jeddah will be located on the Al Arbaeen Lagoon overlooking the old town, and will feature more than 50 artworks, with a brand new installation created for Jeddah.

Here the collective answer our questions.

How would you sum up teamLab and what you do?
teamLab is an international art collective that seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world. Through art, our interdisciplinary group of specialists – including artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, and architects – aims to explore the relationship between the self and the world, and new forms of perception.

teamLab seeks to transcend boundaries in our perceptions of the world, of the relationship between the self and the world, and of the continuity of time. We believe that everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous, borderless continuity.

In the interactive artworks created by teamLab, the presence and movement of visitors transforms the art – visitors become a part of the work. This changes the relationship between an artwork and an individual into a relationship between an artwork and a group of individuals. Suddenly the way the person standing next to you behaves becomes important. We wanted to create a space where you can feel that you’re connected with other people in the world.

What’s the history of teamLab?
teamLab was founded in 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko and several of his friends to create a ‘laboratory to experiment in collaborative creation’. Through art, teamLab was (and is) interested in creating new experiences to explore what the world is for humans.

The collective has been creating art ever since, with the aim of contributing to societal progress.

You’ve gone from relative obscurity to huge success. How has this changed what you do?
In the beginning, teamLab didn’t have the opportunity to present its work, nor could we work out how to financially sustain our art creation. However, we believed in the power of digital technology and creativity, and kept creating.

As time went on, while teamLab gained passionate followers, we were still ignored by the art world. Our breakthrough came in 2011 at the Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei, to which the collective was invited by the artist Takashi Murakami. Since then, teamLab has gained opportunities to join major contemporary art exhibitions in cosmopolitan cities starting with the Singapore Biennale 2013.

In 2014, New York PACE Gallery started to help promote teamLab artworks, enabling us to expand rapidly, and in 2015, the collective was finally able to organise its own exhibition for the first time in Tokyo.

These events led to opportunities to exhibit internationally, in New York, London, Paris, Singapore, Silicon Valley, Beijing, Taipei, and Melbourne among others. As of today, teamLab has welcomed more than 35 million visitors to our art exhibitions.

All we do is create artworks that we believe in – our hope is that our work reaches people’s hearts and changes their behaviour and ways of thinking. Popularity is just a by-product of that.

What can people expect from teamLab Borderless Jeddah?
teamLab Borderless Jeddah is the first-ever permanent teamLab Borderless museum to open in the Middle East.

Located in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, it’s currently being built on the shores of Al-Arbaeen Lagoon overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Historic Jeddah. 

This immersive museum will comprise over 50 artworks spread across its labyrinthine spaces, including Borderless World, Athletics Forest and Future Park. It will also feature an entirely new installation created exclusively for Jeddah. 

teamLab Borderless is based on the concept that everything exists in a borderless continuity.

In order to comprehend the world, people separate it into parts, creating boundaries in between. Through this exhibition, teamLab aims to create a place in which various artworks are connected with one other without boundaries, giving visitors an opportunity to rethink their perception of the world, and discover that continuity itself is beautiful.

At teamLab Borderless Jeddah, the artworks leave rooms, move through the halls and influence other artworks. For instance, the ‘crows’ flying in a given space initially came from a different room to enter that space. As they fly about, they affect other artworks, causing ‘flowers’ to scatter and fall.

The artworks are also affected and changed by the presence of people – when visitors stand still in a space, the flow of the waterfall will change around their feet, and flowers will begin to bloom in their wake.

What can you tell us about teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi?
Housed in a 17,000sq m venue within the Saadiyat Culture District, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi will offer a completely new art experience based on teamLab’s new concept, Environmental Phenomena.

This experience will consist of a selection of dynamic works by teamLab. Visitors will be immersed into a world that organically changes and evolves through the participation and actions of the people in it.

A key characteristic of the experience is the environment and the various phenomena created by it. Unlike stones or man-made creations that can maintain a stable structure on their own, the artworks at teamLab Phenomena don’t exist independently, but are dependent on their environment.

Elements like air, water, and light are transformed by their environment into unique phenomena that become works of art. The boundaries of their existence are ambiguous and continuous. Even if people destroy the work, the work will remain in existence as long as its environment is maintained – and will disappear, if it’s not maintained.

The venue is set to complete construction in 2024, and will sit alongside the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

teamLab Borderless Tokyo was announced as the most visited single artist museum in 2021. Why was it so popular?
All we can say is that teamLab believes that digital technology can expand art and that art made in this way can create new relationships between people, as well as between viewers and the artwork.

Digital technology enables complex detail and freedom for change. Before people started accepting digital technology, information and artistic expression had to be presented in some physical form.

Creative expression has existed through static media for most of human history, often using physical objects such as canvas and paint. The advent of digital technology allows human expression to become free from these physical constraints, enabling it to exist independently and evolve freely.

No longer limited to physical media, digital technology has made it possible for artworks to expand physically. Since art created using digital technology can easily expand, it provides us with a greater degree of autonomy within the space. We are now able to manipulate and use much larger spaces, and viewers are able to experience the artwork more directly.

The characteristics of digital technology allow artworks to express the capacity for change much more freely. Viewers, in interaction with their environment, can instigate perpetual change in an artwork. Through an interactive relationship between the viewers and the artwork, viewers become an intrinsic part of that artwork.

teamLab exhibitions
Permanent exhibitions:
• teamLab SuperNature Macao

Soft opened June 2020 at the Venetian Macao

• teamLab Massless Beijing

Opened in Chaoyang Joy City, Beijing in December 2022

• teamLab Botanical Gardens Osaka

Opened in July 2022, this open air museum features teamLab’s artworks at the Nagai Botanical Garden in Osaka

• Future World: Where Art Meets Science, Art Science Museum, Singapore

Opened in March 2016

Upcoming exhibitions:
• Upcoming exhibitions:

No opening date has yet been released for this permanent new teamLab museum, set to be located on Culture Square in Jeddah

• teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi

With construction due for completion in 2024, this new 17,000sq m art museum will be housed in a curved organically-shaped building on the waterfront on Saadiyat Island

• teamLab Borderless: MORI Building Digital Art Museum, Tokyo

Scheduled to re-open in early 2024, in Toyko’s Azabudai Hills, this museum replaces teamLab Borderless in Odaiba, which closed in August 2022. In 2021, the museum in Odaiba was announced as the world’s most visited single art group museum

Many of teamLab’s works react to the movement of the people viewing it Credit: Photo: teamLab, Microcosmoses © teamLab
Credit: image: © DCT Abu Dhabi
Forest of Resonating Lamps featured numerous glass lamps fitted with sensors Credit: Photo: teamLab, Forest of Resonating Lamps - One Stroke, Spring Mountain Fields © teamLab
Visitors can change the flow of ‘water’ by interacting with the work Credit: Photo: teamLab, The Way of the Sea, Flying Beyond Borders - Colors of Life © teamLab
The Floating Flower Garden at teamLab Planets in Tokyo Credit: Photo: teamLab, Floating Flower Garden: Flowers and I are of the Same Root, the Garden and I are One © teamLab
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+ More news   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
Taylor Made Designs

Taylor Made Designs (TMD) has been supplying the Attractions, Holiday Park, Zoos and Theme Park mark [more...]
IAAPA EMEA

IAAPA Expo Europe was established in 2006 and has grown to the largest international conference and [more...]
Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976. Polin has since grown into a leading company in the waterpa [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

08-08 May 2024

Hospitality Design Conference

Hotel Melià , Milano , Italy
04-07 Nov 2024

Global Wellness Summit (GWS)

In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

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