Digital art collective teamLab may be best known for the teamLab Borderless and teamLab Planets museums in Tokyo, but they’ve also got exhibitions in some peculiar locations, too. For instance, the new teamLab Reconnect in Roppongi is set in a bathhouse and the group’s also got a digital monolith that looks like a pillar of fire outside teamLab Planets Tokyo.
Adding to the list is teamLab’s latest endeavor, taking place at the Fukuoka Shoyu Gallery in Okayama. The new exhibition, titled teamLab: Tea Time in the Soy Sauce Storehouse, opened its doors on Thursday April 15 and features two new teamLab installations.
Both artworks are set in the former Fukuoka Soy Sauce Building, which dates back to the Meiji era (1868-1912) and was once used for – you guessed it – soy sauce production and storage. The artwork known as 'Floating Lamps in Spontaneous Order - the Old Soy Sauce Storehouses' is set up in the basement of the building, where the soy sauce used to be stored.
This engaging installation features numerous Venetian glass lamps with autonomous LEDs floating on water. Each one pulses slow or fast, in sync with its own rhythm. You can also interact with the floating lamps by pushing them – if they fall down, they will automatically right themselves and gradually return to their original blinking pattern. The combination of the lamps interacting with people and with each other eventually creates the artwork’s so-called spontaneous order.
You can also sit down to enjoy a cup of tea at tables spread out amongst the lamps. The tea itself is another artwork titled ‘Tea in Spontaneous Order’. The first thing you’ll notice is that the tea makes a special sound when poured into the glass in front of you.
The light from each glass shines and fades, pulsing at different rhythms, similar to the floating lamps. As you sip your tea, the light will fade out, but if you stay still, you'll notice that the surrounding lamps and the tea glasses can all interact with each other, shining and fading together.
The exhibition takes place from April 15 2021 to March 31 2022 at the Fukuoka Shoyu Gallery in Okayama city, Okayama prefecture. Tickets are on a first come first served basis and can only be purchased on the day of the event. Entrance is ¥1,000 per person and includes one cup of tea. For more information, visit the official website.
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