26 Jan 2015: Since it formed in 2000, Tokyo-based collective teamLab have aimed to make ‘the border between technology, art and design more ambiguous’. Local viewers may have seen their quirky digital works at Art Stage, the 2013 Singapore Biennale or Ikkan Art Gallery; the latter will host a group show that includes a new teamLab installation. Only this time, it’s going to be even more of an impressive visual feast.
The work, ‘Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – Dark’, will see ‘the floor, the walls and the spaces in between completely transformed into art,’ says Toshiyuki Inoko, founder of teamLab. Musician Hideaki Takahashi has created an accompanying soundtrack to make the whole experience even more immersive and visceral.
Inspired by cherry blossoms in the mountains of the Kunisaki peninsula in Japan, the piece explores the relationship between mankind and nature. ‘The boundary between the work of nature and the work of humans is extremely vague,’ Inoko explains. But rather than creating a painting or sculpture to dissect this notion, teamLab chucked technology – a product of man – into the mix.
‘Digital technology allows us to express ourselves in ways that weren’t possible before,’ he continues, adding that technology also brings viewers closer to both natural and digital landscapes. ‘By creating an interactive relationship between the viewers and the artwork, viewers become an intrinsic part of the artwork,’ he concludes. ‘And by turning physical space into art through digital means, the space can form a strong relationship with the people within it. I believe that this potential allows for a stronger connection between people and the space around them.’