teamLab Planets
Photo: teamLab, 2021, Interactive Digital Installation, W6000mm H15000mm. Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

The outdoor digital monolith at teamLab Planets Tokyo has changed into a pillar of fire

The digital waterfall outside the teamLab Planets museum in Toyosu has a new look – and you see it for free

Kasey Furutani

There’s plenty of teamLab to go around. Whether you’re travelling to Okayama or just chilling at home, you have lots of ways to interact with the art collective's inimitable works. Last July, teamLab Planets Tokyo in Toyosu debuted their monolith-like sculpture showcasing a digital waterfall. Titled ‘Universe of Water Particles Falling from the Sky’, the sculpture is right outside the museum and free for anyone to see.

teamLab Planets
Photo: teamLab, 2021, Interactive Digital Installation, W6000mm D6000mm. Sound: Hideaki TakehashiFire Particles Falling From the Sky

On April 7 this year, the sculpture was transformed into the artwork ‘Universe of Fire Particles Falling from the Sky’, quite the opposite of the refreshing waterfall. Instead of cascading water, the monolith now features bright red and orange flames tumbling down, similar to volcanic eruption. Like other teamLab artworks, it is also influenced by human presence. When a person steps onto the floor panel, the shape of the flames changes to create a ‘black absolute presence’ behind the person's feet. The monolith is a permanent installation and even visitors without tickets to teamLab Planets can see it for free at the museum entrance.  

teamLab Planets
Photo: teamLab, 2021, Digital Installation, Continuous Loop. Sound: Hideaki TakahashiUniverse of Fire Particles

For those with a ticket, there are more fire to be found inside the museum as well. ‘Universe of Fire Particles’ is a new moving artwork – the brushstroke-like digital art looks similar to a phoenix being born, or a scene from the gates of hell, take your pick. Much like the outdoor sculpture, ‘Universe of Fire Particles’ interacts with you. The same ‘black absolute presence’ appears when you approach, distorting the flames and creating different shapes.

‘Universe of Fire Particles Falling from the Sky’ and ‘Universe of Fire Particles’ will remain at the museum for the foreseeable future. In addition to the flame-inspired art, you can also experience seasonal cherry blossom works in 'Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers' and 'Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People - Infinity'. Tickets can be booked online and are available at a 15 percent discount until April 23. 

If you need another teamLab fix – and who doesn’t? – stop by Roppongi for the digital art collective’s latest venture into Japanese bathhouse. Not in Tokyo? You can still use their new TikTok filter to see flowers bloom wherever you are in the world.

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