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Tokyo’s New Digital Art Museum Is Designed to Blow Your Mind

By Sarah Buder

Aug 14, 2018

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At the interactive “Forest of Lamps” installation in Tokyo’s MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless, lamps shine more brightly as museumgoers pass by.

Courtesy of teamLab

At the interactive “Forest of Lamps” installation in Tokyo’s MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless, lamps shine more brightly as museumgoers pass by.

The sprawling space features a labyrinth of immersive kaleidoscopic projections that respond in real time to the movements of museumgoers.

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When the MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless opened in Tokyo in June, it became one of the world’s first museums dedicated solely to digital art—which is fitting, because stepping inside the immersive gallery feels like venturing into a new frontier.

Inside the vast 107,639-square-foot space located in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, 520 computers and 470 projectors create some 50 dreamlike digital installations that move down corridors, fuse with other works, and even respond to visitors’ movements. The projections, helmed by the Japanese collective of tech-art creatives known as teamLab, involve surreal digitizations that depict natural moments of serenity—flowers blooming, waves crashing, birds soaring. According to the museum’s masterminds, the futuristic exhibition space has one driving purpose: to explore how humans relate to nature in the digital age.

Although it’s not the first time the high-profile—and heavily Instagrammed—digital artworks have been put on display (previous showcases span major art cities like Shanghai, Cape Town, London, and Paris), teamLab’s decision to open a permanent space devoted entirely to the installations in Tokyo makes the tech-art museum the first of its kind (though surely not the last).


The museum’s maze-like layout is divided into five exhibition sections—among them Borderless World, Athletics Forest, Future Park, Forest of Lamps, and the En Tea House—spread out over two floors. Responding to real-time coding, the installations create a series of shifting three-dimensional spaces designed for visitors to engage with and explore.

Scroll through the photos below for a peek inside the MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: teamLab Borderless in Tokyo.

“The Way of the Sea, Floating Nest” teamLab, 2018.
“Wander through the Crystal World” teamLab, 2018.

“Universe of Water Particles on a Rock Where People Gather” teamLab, 2018.

“Walk, Walk, Walk: Free Infinity” teamLab, 2018.
Tickets to Mori Building Digital Art Museum cost 3,200 yen (approximately US$29) for adults and 1,000 yen (approximately US$9) for children.

Where else to see teamLab’s otherworldly installations in Japan:

teamLab: Planets TOKYO (through Fall 2020)
Toyosu, Tokyo, Japan

On display for the next two years, this temporary museum features an intimate collection of notable teamLab installations such as “Expanding Three-dimensional Existence in Intentionally Transforming Space—Free Floating, 12 Colors” (pictured above). This Toyosu museum, which is within walking distance from Tokyo’s Shin-Toyosu train station, is full of tactile surprises. To enter, you’ll need to remove your shoes. (US$29 for adults, US$18 for children)

teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live – earth music&ecology (through October 28, 2018)
Takeo Hot Springs, Kyushu, Japan

On the island of Kyushu in Japan’s Saga prefecture, colorful digitizations light up the hot springs, caves, and forests of Mifuneyama Rakuen Park through October 2018. The concept of the project, created by teamLab and earth music&ecology, is to demonstrate that technology can turn nature into art without harming it. (US$11 for adults, free for children)

Light Festival in Tadasu no Mori at Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Art by teamLab – TOKIO INKARAMI (August 17 through September 2, 2018)
Kyoto, Japan

This sacred Kyoto grove, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site known as the Shimogamo Shrine, will be lit with egg-shaped digital installations that change colors and resonate when touched. (US$9 Monday-Friday, US$11 Saturday-Sunday)

>>Next: A Guide to Japan’s Temple Lodgings for Travelers Seeking Solitude

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