Travelling all the way out to Kyushu is surely a way to beat the crowds at teamLab’s insanely popular museums in Tokyo (there's one in Toyosu and another in Odaiba). Famous for its summer beaches, tonkotsu ramen and laid-back lifestyle, Kyushu might seem like an odd choice for teamLab's modern cool. However, this is the fifth year their two nature-themed interactive exhibitions, both named ‘A Forest Where Gods Live’, return to the southwesternmost of Japan's main islands. These exhibitions are a part of the Digitized Nature project, teamLab's plan to combine art and wildlife without any environmental harm.
The two exhibitions are held at Mifuneyama Rakuen, a sprawling 500,000sqm park a world away from modern life. It's about a 70-minute train ride from JR Hakata Station in Kyushu's capital city of Fukuoka. You can feel the blurring of the line between nature and the past in this ethereal space that's home to ancient shrines and 3,000-year-old trees.
Both exhibitions, the daytime 'A Forest Where Gods Live, Ruins and Heritage – The Nature of Time' and the nighttime 'A Forest Where Gods Live, Ruins and Heritage – earth music&ecology', feature teamLab's ever-popular projection mapping intersecting with the otherworldly nature of the park. They are currently ongoing until November 4.
A Forest Where Gods Live, Ruins and Heritage – The Nature of Time
This daytime exhibition has four teamLab artworks. These pieces take advantage of Mifuneyama Rakuen’s historic ruins to create installations that encourage you to closely observe the heritage site and the surrounding nature. New and exclusive to this exhibition is the ‘Megaliths in the Bathhouse Ruins’, located in an abandoned bathhouse which has been transformed into a home for otherworldly monoliths. Just like all of teamLab’s creations, you can interact with the structures and see how your body affects both the ruins and the artwork. 11.30am to sunset.
A Forest Where Gods Live – earth music&ecology
This nighttime exhibition, sponsored by the clothing store earth music&ecology, has a grand total of 21 pieces of art, including the four pieces that are featured in the daytime but with different visuals after dark. The works that are exclusive to the nighttime event are all outdoors, so you can witness how teamLab's art play off the lush natural setting. Perhaps the most majestic piece is the ‘Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and Boats’, set at the Mifuneyama Rakuen pond. This ten-minute show displays watercolour-like strokes over the body of water. Mt Mifuneyama looms behind the pond, lit up by its own exhibition. Sunset to 10.30pm
Tickets for the daytime exhibition, 'A Forest Where Gods Live, Ruins and Heritage – The Nature of Time', are ¥500 on weekdays and ¥700 on weekends. For the nighttime exhibition, 'A Forest Where Gods Live – earth music&ecology', tickets are ¥1,200 on weekdays and ¥1,400 on weekends. You can get your tickets at Lawson convenience stores.