Forest of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn

teamLab, 2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

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Forest of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn

teamLab, 2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

The seasons change gradually across the installation space.

Flowers blossom according to the changing seasons, and the place where they grow gradually moves.


The flowers bud, grow, and blossom before their petals begin to wither and eventually fade away. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity. If viewers stay still, flowers surrounding them bloom and grow more abundantly than usual. If viewers touch or step on the flowers, they shed their petals all at once.


The flowers of Flower Forest are influenced by other works causing them to scatter. For example, butterflies gather in places where flowers are blooming, the flowers scatter when crows enter the forest or when the waterfall swells.


Neither a prerecorded animation nor on loop, the work is rendered in real time by a computer program. The interaction between the viewer and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork; previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur. 


In spring in the Kunisaki Peninsula, there are many cherry blossoms in the mountains and rapeseed blossoms at their base. The abundance of flowers caused teamLab to wonder how many of these flowers were planted by people and how many were native to the environment. It is a place of great serenity and contentment, but the expansive body of flowers is an ecosystem influenced by human intervention, and the boundary between the work of nature and the work of humans is unclear. Rather than nature and humans being in conflict, a healthy ecosystem is one that includes people.


In the past people understood that they could not grasp nature in its entirety, and that it is not possible to control nature. People lived more closely aligned to the rules of nature that created a comfortable natural environment. Before the modern era, civilization prospered by the sea. Since then it moved inland leaving pockets of isolated people in the solitary valleys. In these valleys there are faint traces of the relationship with nature that existed. If nature cannot be controlled, perhaps a hint for the future lies in the relationship that once existed between humans and nature.