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Truly Immersive Art

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Over the past few years there have been “immersive experience” art exhibits. Digital versions of art from masters such as Van Gough are projected onto the walls of a gallery. When visitors walk through, the art work is projected on and around them. This provides a different way to experience art. The artist, however, created the art as a 2-D work intended to be appreciated by looking at the art. Team Labs Planet Tokyo takes a different approach. (Glen in front of the Team Labs building.)

Team Labs is a collective of visual artists and composers who create art designed with people as part of the art. It isn’t simply a translation of 2D to 3D, but art and music tightly integrated and dependent on interaction with the viewer. The art is real reality (not virtual) and changes as one moves through it. I heard about the exhibit several months prior to arriving in Tokyo, so I was lucky to get advance tickets to this highly popular experience. It was amazing.

When we entered the building, we had to remove our shoes and socks and roll up our pants to knee height. We were told that we’d be wading through water. Because many of the exhibits also involved walking on mirrored floors, those with skirts or dresses were warned that everyone would be able to see whatever is under their clothing. “Modesty” pants were available at no charge. Barefoot, we entered the exhibit.

The Entry

The entry was a black hallway. Halfway through we walked uphill through a shallow river of water towards a calming waterfall.

Soft Black Hole: Your Body Becomes a Space that Influences Another Body

The floor felt like a Tempur-Pedic mattress for a giant. The walls were padded too. Some people just made a beeline through the room (walking was very tricky). But we took time to enjoy lying down.

Infinity Light Room

Looking up or down in a mirrored room full of light ropes is amazing. The colors and patterns changed with the music. This is one of the rooms where the "modesty pants" come in handy. This is a version of the selfie.

Glen is silhouetted as he exits the light room.

The Dance of Koi and People

The milky water was a great canvas for swaths of colors, leaf patterns, and "koi." It all went with the music and changed based on the presence of people.

Movie of swimming "koi."

Ephemeral Solidified Light

Soft, giant balls changed from one solid color to another.

Planetarium of Floating Flowers

For this, we laid on the floor and looked up at a dome. On it were images of flowers and flower parts, all generated by computer in realtime to music. Because the flowers were flying fast, it was difficult to capture a still image. (Too dark for video.)

Moss Garden of Resonating Microcosms

This room was outside. Silver forms were nested in amongst hillocks of grass and moss.

Floating Flower Garden: Flowers and I are of the Same Root, the Garden and I are One

Each exhibit involved hearing, seeing, and touch. This one also smelled wonderful. Lots or orchids!

I used an artistic filter on this image because this exhibit reminded me of an impressionistic painting.

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