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Featured on GIZMODO, Mar 27, 2015

A Hanging Garden That Floats Through Space to Meet Your Nose


Gardens are beautiful and all but they’re almost always inconveniently located on the ground. Instead of stooping to smell the roses, this garden comes to you: A suspended, living arrangement of 2,300 flowers which rises and fall around viewers as they move through the space.

Floating Flower Garden: Flowers and I are of the same root, the Garden and I are one is a project by Japanese artists at teamLab, where a computer-controlled system shifts the 2,300 plants up and down depending on the presence of a person walking below. Imagine the flowers parting like a curtain and forming a bubble around each person. The technology is similar to Random International’s Rain Room, which keeps viewers dry they walk through a simulated downpour.

The plants are orchids, which are able to take in water and nutrients through their airborne roots (technically rhizomes) and don’t necessarily need soil. So the garden is actually growing, even as it’s installed upside-down.

In addition to the visual experience, the smell must be absolutely amazing: According to the artists, the scent of each flower is intensified when it’s pollinated by its corresponding partner insects, and the room’s fragrance changes throughout the day.

Floating Flower Garden: Flowers and I are of the same root, the Garden and I are one is installed at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo through May 10. [teamLab via Laughing Squid]

Featured on beautiful lands, Mar 26, 2015

Floating Flower Garden


teamLab in Japan creates a floating flower garden with an infinite number of floating living flowers that fill up the entire garden space. Over 2,300 floating flowers bloom in the space. These flowers are alive and growing with each passing day. When a viewer gets close to this flower-filled space, the flowers close to the viewer rise upwards all at once, creating a hemispherical space with the viewer at its center. In other words, although the whole space is filled with flowers, a hemispherical space is constantly being created with the viewer at its center and the viewer is free to move around wherever they want. If many viewers get close to one another, the dome spaces link up to form one single space. In this interactive floating flower garden viewers are immersed in flowers, and become completely one with the garden itself. 

For more information about this project, please visit the website of teamLab.

Featured on designboom, 2015/03/27

teamlab projects universe of water particles on the grand palais

for the art paris art fair 2015, teamlab have transformed paris’ historic grand palais into an immersive, ever-evolving waterfall. the projection-mapped simulation has been calculated by tracking the movement of water falling on a 3D model of the structure in a virtual computer environment. ‘universe of water particles on the grand palais’ is expressed as continuum of hundreds of thousand of droplets that flow in accordance with how the computer calculates the interaction of the particles.(Excerpt from text)

Featured on beautiful lands, Mar 26, 2015

Installations and Designs of teamLab


teamLab is a Japanese Ultra-technologists group made up of specialists in the information society such as; Programmers (User Interface Engineers, Database Engineers, Network Engineers, Hardware engineers, Computer Vision Engineers, Software Architects), Mathematicians, Architects, CG Animators, Web Designers, Graphic Designers, Artists, Editors and more. We create works through “experimentation and innovation” making the borders between Art, Science, and Technology, more Ambiguous.

teamLab has invented many innovative installations and designs, including Floating Flower Garden. Here are some of them.To see all the projects of teamLab, please visit its website.Espace teamLab -World Unleashed and then Connecting (Maison & Objet Paris 20th Anniversary, Jan. 23 – 27, 2015):

Featured on COLOSSAL, Mar 25, 2015

An Immersive Digitally-Controlled Installation of 2,300 Suspended Flowers by Japanese Art Collective teamLab

Currently on display in Tokyo is “Floating Flower Garden,” an immersive, interactive installation of blossoming vegetation. Visitors enter a room filled with floating flowers. But as you approach them the flowers rise into the air, creating an air bubble within the dense forest. Multiple visitors can move through the installation at once as the flowers move away from them and surround them. “In this interactive floating flower garden viewers are immersed in flowers, and become completely one with the garden itself.” Think of it as Rain Room but with flowers.

Floating Flower Garden is the latest installation by TeamLab, a Japanese art collective of “ultra-technologists” lead by Toshiyuki Inoko. They’re currently staging a large-scale retrospective of work at Miraikan in Tokyo. The show has been so popular that it got extended for 2 months and this piece was installed as an encore. It’s currently on view, along with the rest of the show, through May 1, 2015.
(Excerpt from the text)

Featured on CityLab, Mar 25, 2015

Tokyo's New 'Floating Flower Garden' Is a Beautiful Thing—Which Is Exactly the Problem

Tokyo’s New ‘Floating Flower Garden’ Is a Beautiful Thing—Which Is Exactly the Problem
The public loves ethereal immersive installations, even if art critics don’t.

Did you enjoy the art installation “Rain Room” a few years back at MoMA PS1, but think that it had too much rain and not enough flowers? Tokyo has you covered.

An art collective called teamLab has designed an immersive interactive experience called “Floating Flower Garden” that works exactly like “Rain Room,” but with flowers. Visit Tokyo and you, too, can feel like you’re walking through the magical set of a Björk video.

Much as Random International’s “Rain Room” allowed visitors to walk through the rain without getting wet, “Floating Flower Garden” is designed so that viewers can walk through a hanging garden without getting … flowered. Sensors that detect an approaching viewer cause flowers in that viewer’s vicinity to rise. This setup allows for a “hemispherical space with the viewer at its center” that moves with the viewer, according to teamLab’s website.

The installation is now on view at Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. Which might be my very favorite museum I’ve never visited. Check out these special exhibitions! I can’t decide between the cutey-pie poos of “Toilet?! Human Waste & Earth’s Future” and the call to action in “Pokémon Lab: You Do It! You Discover!”

Installation projects like “Rain Room” and “Floating Flower Garden” look like they’re made from 100 percent pure fun concentrate. But when institutions like the Museum of Modern Art get involved in hosting them, things get ugly. MoMA hosting “Rain Room” struck critics as a cynical ploy to move tickets. After all, “Rain Room” doesn’t present any scholarship or reveal anything about the direction of art or design or technology. It’s just a spectacle. A gimmick.

My bet is that “Floating Flower Garden” is cut from the same whimsical cloth—and that it will travel just as widely and do every bit as well as “Rain Room” did.

Featured on Spoon&Tamago, Mar 24, 2015

An Immersive Interactive Garden of 2300 Floating Flowers Inspired by a Zen Koan


As part of their current large-scale exhibition at Miraikan in Tokyo, TeamLab has created a fully-immersive installation of interactive flowers. 2300 flowers, to be exact, are suspended in a room that responds to the movement of visitors as they enter and walk through the forest of floating flowers. As visitors approach, the flowers float above their head, creating a small dome. It’s like the Rain Room, but with vegetation.
“when people of the present day see these blossoms, it is as if they see them in a dream”
TeamLab’s exhibition was originally scheduled to close on March 1 but it was extended through May 10, 2015 due to popular demand. The Floating Flower Garden is their newest work – sort of like an encore exhibition – that the designers added to the full lineup.
“In this interactive floating flower garden viewers are immersed in flowers, and become completely one with the garden itself,” says TeamLab, describing the installation. According to the designers the piece was inspired by a Zen koan from Nanquan Puyuan (南泉和尚, 748 – 835), the founder of a famous monastery.
As legend has it, Nanquan spent 30 years in a mountain retreat without ever leaving. At the governor’s request, Nanquan finally comes down to teach the people on the plain:
The governor asked Nanquan the meaning of an early, pre-Chan Buddhist teaching that all things come from the same source and accordingly there can be no difference between right and wrong, which are themselves the same, by virtue of a common origin.
Nanquan pointed to a patch of peonies in the garden: “Governor, when people of the present day see these blossoms, it is as if they see them in a dream.”
According to the explanation, “Nanquan seems to be pointing out that the unenlightened cannot fully perceive the flower as it really is, cannot experience it directly and purely. Instead it is approached as an object apart from the viewer, the subject. It is not seen as an extension of his or her own reality. The ordinary mind permits this dichotomy of nature, but in the Zen mind, man and flower become one, merged into a seamless fabric of life.”

Featured on The Creators Project, Mar 24, 2015

A Kinetic Sea of Flowers Blooms in Tokyo

A kinetic flower garden hangs in Tokyo, parting before visitors as sensors detect their movements, and closing behind them as they walk through. Created by the innovative experience designers at teamLab at the Miraikan National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, where Damon Albarn previously performed an acoustic concert for androids, the suspended sea of 2,300 flowers known as Floating Flower Garden – Flowers and I are of the same root, the Garden and I are one creates a dome of open space to guide museumgoers through its mass of vegetation.(Excerpt from the text)

Featured on Public Art Monthly art magazine, Mar 9, 2015

ART & TECHNOLOGY #4: teamLab

At a conference last year at the Mori Art Museum on the subject of internationalism in contemporary art, scholar Michio Hayashi theorized that the popular perception of “Japanese-ness” in the West was cemented in the 1980s by triangulating “kitsch hybridity,” “primordial nature” and “technological sophistication.” 1) Today, popular (especially commercially) contemporary art from East Asia can largely be placed somewhere inside that triangle. Recent exhibitions in Europe and the United States featuring Asian artists certainly fit the triangulation formula, exhibiting themes of technological futures.
1) Ryan Wong “Kitsch, Myth, and Technology: Japanese Art in the West” 『Hyperallergic』 2014. 8. 5teamLab has become quite a prominent group in both the East and the West, via the technological sophistication and the presentation of works that condense characteristics associated with contemporary art in Asia. Presented in Chelsea at the “Duality of Existence” exhibition last year, Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as Well – Light in Dark (2014) was one such example. The seven-projector, seven-screen digital animation installation tailed the swerving flight of a succession of crows that left floral trails in their wake. Despite the colorful splashes, the panel screens presented a spectacle without story, a fantastic display of prismatic fireworks without emotional or narrative engagement. Animated with elements of epic films yet dense with a kitsch undertone, teamLab continues to put forth some of the most original contemporary art in recent years.
The Revolutionary Warping of an Analogue Motif
Setting sail on the tradition of 17th-century Japanese art and contemporary forms of anime, teamLab navigates the confluence of art, technology and design. Founded by Toshiyuki Inoko and a group of his university friends in 2001, teamLab works as a collective creative force to celebrate the vitality of nature and strive to expand our understanding of human perception. It is an interdisciplinary creative group that brings together professionals from various fields in the information age: artists, editors, programmers, engineers, mathematicians, architects, web and print graphic designers, and CG animators. They attempt to achieve a balance between technology, art, commerce and creativity, working within a broad creative range that encompasses animation, sound, performance, the Internet, fashion, design and even medical science.
An even higher superlative of technological sophistication is found in their 12-panel digital screen installation Flower and Corpse Glitch Set of 12 (2012). Like a parchment opening, the panels suggest a comprehensive narrative, yet there is no discernible logic of a unilateral direction of perception, be it horizontal or vertical. Each panel conveys a short chapter from what appears to be a tale of legends: dragons, samurais and beautiful mountains. Outlines and forms crumble, turning into digital grids, gold leafing assembling itself into a succession of subsequent scenes.
Traditional Japanese painting motifs in dazzlingly high-definition digital are animated, the loop clocking in just shy of two minutes. Despite the short runtime and lack of an apparent narrative, the immersive display never fails to capture an audience. Such were the reasons behind teamLab’s presentation garnering such praise at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2013, the inaugural edition following the Swiss exhibition’s acquisition of a majority stake in the Hong Kong fair.
Peace Can Be Realized Even Without Order (2013) is an interactive digital installation composed of holographic numbers. As the self-evident title states, the presentation tells the story of how despite disorder caused by external events, peace is gradually restored with time. Existing independently from the others surrounding it, holographic figures play instruments and dance, affected by the sounds coming from neighboring holograms. When a visitor steps across the threshold of the installation, the holographic figures respond by pausing their performance. As the first figure stills, the signal to ‘cease’ is relayed and spread to each other figure. After the visitor passes through the installation, the holographic figures return to playing music and dancing. It is the visitor’s entrance that causes the disruption of harmony. teamLab stated that “…the speed at which people can connect with other people has accelerated, and the influence of connections to other people has become more important…and perhaps in these unordered connections there is a way to find peace.”
Homogenizing and Transforming World is another installation in the same vein. Individual balls floating in space communicate wirelessly with each other. They change color and emit different sounds when touched by visitors or bumped by other objects. The first affected ball sends the new color information to others around it, the spread broadening until all the balls are once again the same color. We now live in a world that has ubiquitous connectivity to the Internet. Each individual is connected to other associates, and information is freely exchanged through that connection. Any single person becomes a voluntary information corridor, sending out new data that ultimately unifies the world. That world, created almost by an instantaneous transference, is what the installation by teamLab addresses.
Verification of Logic through Technique
teamLab’s interests reach beyond humanity, to nature and the great outdoors, and into outer space. Universe of Water Particles Under Satellite’s Gravity (2014) is an installation composed of a giant model of the ALOS-2 satellite, and a virtual representation of the satellite in digital space, meticulously recreated down to its gravitational mass. To prepare the installation, the group first created a simulation of absolute zero gravity and threw in an abundant supply of water. The algorithm they developed based on the simulation calculates the gravitational pull of the satellite and computes its effect on liquid, demonstrating how water would cascade toward the ALOS-2. The results are projected onto the physical model, the computer-generated water molecules interacting dynamically according to the preprogrammed algorithm. Once a particle strikes the surface of the satellite, it bounces off and orbits until it evaporates. Only 0.1% of the water particles from the actual simulation are selected and rendered, with lines drawn between the particles and satellite to delineate the paths of movement. The breathtaking waterfall is the culmination of those rendered lines. The creators compare the waterfall effect to traditional Japanese painting methods and an understanding of space as a curvilinear series of lines. The most recent aesthetic interest of teamLab is evident in Flowers and People – Dark (2015), which is neither a pre-recorded animation nor on loop, but a real-time rendering by a computer program.
Flowers grow, bud and blossom, bursting forth in full before withering and wilting away. It is a perpetual cycle of growth and decay. The installation responds to the proximity of visitors, physical interactions prompting flowers to suddenly wilt, or at times blossom with ever more colorful tones. Each person’s action directly results in in a succession of changes in the installation. Inspired by the premise that nature cannot be controlled, teamLab created a work that asks philosophical questions about what constitutes manmade behaviors in nature, and what those behaviors might say about our future. A rather cynical perspective might place teamLab’s combination of kitsch, legend and technology into the territory of Orientalism, because of the considerable temptation to hang the burden of reworking Americana or to glaze over their imagined future dystopias and epic pasts in tasteful techno-glitter. Whether cynical or indulgent, it is clear that the group has the ability to create unique art through the peaks and valleys of technology, further expanding that unknown world of possibility. Through their particular approach in their installations, teamLab reestablishes a connection to a world most visitors have lost and seek unpredictable “interactions” through perfected technologies. teamLab installations perceive art through the clear lens of Hayashi’s triangle, and for that, have been brought into the spotlight. ■ with ARTINPOST
About teamLab
The Japanese digital artist collective teamLab has made a huge splash in Asia, Europe and the United States. Their work explores new values that govern individual behaviors in the information era, while also revealing possible futures for societal development. The audience is led to explore the extremes of creativity as technology and art are combined and brought into play. teamLab fosters a collective ingenuity and reveals diverse possibilities for a new era of artistic development. The multidisciplinary group has been the subject of numerous exhibitions in Asia and abroad. In 2011, teamLab presented LIVE! at Takashi Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Taipei. Solo exhibitions include “teamLab: We are the Future” in 2012 at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, “Taichung; and teamLab and Saga Merry-go-round Exhibition” in 2014 at the Saga Prefectural Art Museum in Japan, “The Experience Machine” in 2012 at the Ikkan Art Gallery in Singapore, and “Ultra Subjective Space” in 2014 at Pace Gallery, New York.