NEWS

SANKEI EXPRESS に、掲載。(Oct 13, 2014)

ともに生きる「花と人」 チームラボ、国東半島芸術祭に最新作

【アートクルーズ】
別府湾、伊予灘、周防灘(すおうなだ)に囲まれ、中央には火山群がそびえ立つ。放射状に伸びた谷が分断する6つの集落に分かれ、独自の文化が育まれてきた大分県の国東(くにさき)半島で、若者から支持を集める「チームラボ」(猪子(いのこ)寿之代表)の最新作「花と人、コントロールできないけれども、共に生きる- kunisaki peninsula」が公開されている。半島に咲く花々をモチーフにした体験参加型のインスタレーション作品だ。
(Excerpt from text)

J-COLLABO.ORG に、掲載。(Oct 11, 2014)

TOSHIYUKI INOKO

Interview with Toshiyuki Inoko

– What is the concept and highlights of the current exhibition at Japan Society in New York?

Inoko:
This time, we have exhibited three pieces, two of which are interactive works.

“United, Fragmented, Repeated and Impermanent World” was created based on an artwork by Ito Jakuchu, an Edo-period painter. It is an interactive digital art piece since it gradually changes in response to viewers’ gestures.

There is also a space that showcases “Flowers and People – Gold and Dark” that has the function to make flowers fall when you touch them and to keep the flowers blooming when you remain a certain distance from them. Flowers bloom and die naturally without any interruption by humans. But in this art piece, the lives of flowers become shorter when you touch them and more flowers bloom if you stay away from them.

These kinds of interactive artworks are affected by viewers’ behaviors and they become complete art pieces by including viewers rather than having them as observers.

– Please tell us about team members of the project as well as the process from the design to the completion of your artwork.

Inoko:
“Life survives by the power of life” is created by a 3D CG animation team. First of all, we created a three-dimensional space on a computer and drew flowers and calligraphic brush strokes for the art piece in that space. Then, we transformed the drawings into animations using our theory of a logical structure of space called “Ultra Subjective Space.”

For “United, Fragmented, Repeated and Impermanent World,” we drew motifs inspired from Ito Jakuchu’s painting and then our CG team made three-dimensional objects of the drawings, which were then animated in a three dimensional space. The video was edited by computer to make tiles that make the mural change into abstract pixels when viewers face the tiles. The team for the project was made up of artists, a group of people for 3D animation, and engineers for the sensors.

I don’t envision the completed final versions of our artworks from the beginning. They are created through trial and error and we continually make improvements to our art pieces.

– What made you establish teamLab?

Inoko:
The main purpose of launching teamLab is to fulfill my personal interest. Not by myself, but with people with various specialties enabling us to experiment with a lot of new things. I wanted to offer a place where we can create and learn something new through experimentation. That’s why my company’s name includes the word “Lab.”

Right before going to college, the Internet came out and I recognized the coming of a new digital society, which led me to have an interest in creating something new in that new society. I was especially interested in changing people’s sense of value by innovation through technology and the arts.

However, the technological innovation had already been made by talented people in Silicon Valley – at such a spectacular level that I couldn’t compete with it. Therefore, I decided to focus on expanding the definition of art using digital technology and changing people’s minds by art, both of which hadn’t been done in Silicon Valley.

– Which aspects of the arts did you focus on?

Inoko:
Since I was little I have been immersed in computer games and comic books. For me they captured a space in a different way from that of Western perception, such as the space captured by a camera. One day, when I looked at a traditional Japanese art painting, I felt the way that the computer games and comic books are depicted on a flat screen is similar to that of traditional Japanese paintings. Then I started to look at many old Japanese paintings, and felt that old Japanese artists may have had a different spatial logic than that of Western perspective that fixes your view when you flatten a three-dimensional space. In the ideas of physics, which was my major at college, lenses and Western arts are considered to be a logical way to convert a three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional space. However, I thought flat pictures of traditional Japanese arts are a result of a unique Japanese logic to convert a three-dimensional space into a two-dimensional flat screen.

It was at the time when I was about to go to college that the internet rolled out, and I was so interested in the areas of computers, digital, Internet and computer networks that I started to think I wanted to work in that field. Computers enabled me to interpret a three-dimensional world to a two-dimensional space in a variety of ways, so by using the computers I was trying to find out the Japanese spatial logic that is common to the old Japanese arts. Then by using that logic, I started to create Japanese art pieces myself.

– What did you want to represent in your artworks? 

Inoko:
A reason that I started to create the artworks is because I wanted to find out the old Japanese spatial logic that is different from the Western perspective. When you look back at history, after big revolutions new ideas were introduced and completely new societies were established. In that process, things that had been important before the revolutions turned out not to be and vice versa. Therefore, I thought the old Japanese spatial concept was something that was disregarded in the modern society because there were no benefits to us. However, I believe there are some tips for the new society in that idea and I’m interested in finding it out and making things that go on into the future.

When you look for the traditional Japanese spatial logic, a common approach would be to read through old documents as historians do, but in my case I created simulations using a computer since my background is in physics. In the beginning, I had no idea about how the benefits from the traditional Japanese perspective go along with this new society and I started to find it out through a process of making my own artworks. So I kept making art pieces without thinking of places to showcase them.

– What are characteristics of teamLab’s artworks?

New York Times に、掲載。(Oct 10, 2014)

At the Japan Society, Old Traditions and New Techniques

Call it Japanese art, 2.0. The Japan Society’s latest exhibition, “Garden of Unearthly Delights,” includes, among other pieces, a modern take on a zen garden; new riffs on traditional woodblock-style prints; and adaptations of Japanese screen paintings made using digital renderings, animation and 3-D graphics. In putting the show together, the gallery’s director, Miwako Tezuka, worked with the independent curator Laura J. Mueller to find two artists and an art collective whose work conveys the breadth and talent of the new guard of Japanese artists. They are, in Tezuka and Mueller’s eyes, true “takumi,” or artisans who take to their subject matter with a meticulousness that is inherently Japanese.

The artist Hisashi Tenmyouya refers to his style of work as “basara,” or outlaw culture, and his pieces are equally defiant and respectful of tradition. His zen garden, which takes over most of a room, is Tenmyouya’s first large-scale installation and was inspired by the Ryōan-ji temple in Kyoto — with a twist. The “rocks” and “sand” (made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester and calcium carbonate, respectively) are embedded with skulls, and the sand is colored crimson, to symbolize the devastation and unrest caused by Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the natural disasters of March 11, 2011, and the Senkaku Islands dispute.

The zen garden is part of “Rhyme” (2012), which includes a large diptych, one half of which is a digital rendition of the other. The work’s distinctive background coloring echoes traditional Japanese art made with kinpaku (gold leaf); meanwhile, the foreground imagery depicts men in loincloths, riding horses in battle. By coupling Japanese feudal-era art with traditional screen painting, Tenmyouya brings a new perspective to two genres.

The focal point of Manabu Ikeda’s work is nature: primarily, climate change and man’s participation in it. In Ikeda’s hands, nature becomes anthropomorphic, powerful and perhaps even vindictive, as if preparing to reclaim the landscape from mankind — which might represent a kind of justice in the artist’s eyes. “I grew up in the country, ” he says, “I love rock climbing, hiking and fishing. It’s sad to watch nature disappearing, fading away.”

Inspired by the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, “Meltdown” depicts industrial factories precariously perched atop a large block of ice, which looks like a glacier about to strike a large field of grass. Ikeda was in Vancouver in March 2011 when the tsunami hit Japan, and “Meltdown” juxtaposes the beautiful local Canadian scenery against the destruction in Fukushima.

“Foretoken” might be the more controversial of Ikeda’s two large-scale paintings in the exhibition. The work, a nod to Hokusai’s famous woodblock painting “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” — with its large, looming waves absorbing all of civilization in their wake — was created in 2008 but hasn’t been shown since then. Museum representatives in Japan told him the public wasn’t ready to experience the piece after March 11, Ikeda explains; its imagery was too reminiscent of the 23-foot tsunami. He hopes for a better reception in New York.

TeamLab, a design collective whose work varies from creating websites to fine art, considers its style to be all-around “positive.” Initially founded by five graduates of the prestigious Tokyo University, the company has since ballooned to approximately 350 employees. About 15 of those employees were central to “Flowers and People — Gold and Dark” (2014), a digital landscape of flowers that encompasses a whole room at the exhibition. Team Lab offers viewers a way to participate in the art: By walking on the floor or touching the walls, attendees will set off a motion that propels the flowers to bloom, wither and fall from the trees.

“What you are watching at this moment will never repeat itself forever,” says Ikkan Sanada, an advisor for Team Lab. “It’s a very complicated software; even TeamLab doesn’t know what will happen. The basic structure, the kind of flowers used and such are already programmed, but in which order and where it happens is very random.”

“Garden of Unearthly Delights: Works by Ikeda, Tenmyouya & teamLab,” begins today at the Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, (212) 832-1155; japansociety.org.

Sankei News に、掲載。(Oct 4, 2014)

「人と自然の関係を感じ直して」 チームラボ、花々をモチーフに最新作 国東半島芸術祭

サイエンス、テクノロジー、デザイン、アートの専門家らで構成するウルトラテクノロジスト集団「チームラボ」(猪子寿之代表)が最新作「花と人、コントロールできないけれども、共に生きる - kunisaki peninsula」を出品する国東半島芸術祭が4日、大分県豊後高田市などで始まった。(
Excerpt from text)

The Creators Project に、掲載。(Sep 8, 2014)

Catch 3D Holographic Fish At Seaside Projection Mapping Exhibition


Digital art studio teamLab—known for their interactive, often smartpone-enabled installations—have turned their projection mapping prowess towards Japan’s Kagawa Water Front Festival, transforming a boat and seaside into a 3D holographic fishing hole.

Using their smartphones as a fishing pole, enthusiastic festival-goers could cast a line into the Inland Sea and race to “capture” giant digital fish project not on a screen, but on water and mist. The 3D projection mapped game—dubbed Guruguru Reel—let participants experience the thrill of seaside fishing, but without the the smell, cleanup, and, well, fish. 

Afterward the game ended, teamLab 3D projected two other recent artworks, Water Spatial Calligraphy: Beauty, and Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as Well. TeamLab’s penchant for mixing technology with traditional forms of entertainment (be it fireworks, or fishing) make for an immersive festival experience. Now if only Guruguru Reel displayed the “weights” of each catch.

Take a look at some of the top highlights from the installation below:
For more of teamLab’s experiential work, head over to their website here.

JAPAN TRENDS に、掲載。(Sep 10, 2014)

Infinity of Flowers: teamLab and Gucci create interactive digital floral installation

teamLab has got together with Gucci to create “Infinity of Flowers”, an interactive digital installation at the Gucci Shinjuku store from September 13th.Visitors will be able to “touch” the flowers on the screen and see them bloom, scatter, grow and wither. The installation using a computer program to “paint” the flowers in realtime on the screen. The imagery on the display is created spontaneously by the system. We look forward to the video that will surely be made.(Excerpt from the text)

Sankei News に、掲載。(Aug 8, 2014)

夏の夜空…花と書が降ってきた チームラボ×紫舟、恵比寿にコラボ作品

夏の“夜空”を見上げていたら、たくさん草花とともにメッセージが降ってきた―。さまざまな分野のスペシャリストで構成されるウルトラテクノロジスト集団「チームラボ」と書道家、紫舟さんによるコラボレーション作品「降りそそぐ言葉、舞いおりる花-夏」が東京都渋谷区の恵比寿ガーデンプレイス センター広場で公開されている。
(Excerpt from text)

ARTcollectors' IN ASIA に、掲載。(Aug 6, 2014)

「WE LOVE VIDEO THIS SUMMER」ペース北京初の映像作品展

ペース北京初の映像作品グループ展「WE LOVE VIDEO THIS SUMMER」は7月26日から北京・798芸術区で開催。ビデオ・アートを代表するビル・ヴィオラ、ヴェネチア・ビエンナーレの出展作家、イスラエルのミッシェル・ローバー、香港のパク・シュウン・チュエン、ビデオ・アートの先駆者、ソン・ドンや、今最も注目度の高いデジタルアートのアーティストグループ、日本のチームラボなど、15名・組のアーティストによる作品を展示している。
同展では、違う国、地域出身で、異なるコンセプトで作品を制作し続けてきたアーティストたちの作品を一堂に集結。ギャラリーを交流の場に変貌し、作品と作品、作品と観客が自由に会話・交流し、新たな関係性が生まれる。
一貫して「生と死」をテーマに制作をしているビル・ヴィオラの近作「Visitation」は、映像の流れと光の点滅で生と死の堺と循環を表現。初公開となるソン・ドンの詩的な作品「I don’t know」は、時間と物事の変化を捉えている。デジタルに発展によって、映像作品に新たな可能性が生まれ、今回は日本のアーティストグループのチームラボと、ノルウェイ作家のPia MYrvoLDによる作品が体験できる。テルアビブとニューヨークでの生活経験を活かし、アイデンティティ、人種問題など切実な政治問題に注目し、作品を制作してきたミッシェル・ローバー。ビデオ、ドキュメンタリー、映画とパフォーマンスの境界線を破った、ニューヨークの若手作家ダム・ペンドルトン。アニメーションを使い、作品を制作しているチュー・アンションの新作、台湾人作家のツィ・ゴァンユーや新鋭作家のホヮン・ロンファーなどの作品も出展してる。
また、ペースギャラリーの創立者であるアーニー・グリムチャーがプロデュースし、サイモン・トレヴァが監督のドキュメンタリー「White Gold」とパンダをモチーフにする前衛芸術家のジャオ・バンディの映画新作も会期中に上映している。「White Gold」は初めて現代象牙貿易に着目するドキュメンタリーで、英語版のナレーションが元アメリカ国務長官のヒラリー·クリントンが担当し、中国版が香港俳優のジャッキー・チェンが担当。