Image credit: teamLab/Borderless

Become one with art at Tokyo's psychedelic digital museum

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    Image credit: teamLab/Borderless

    Japan's TeamLab has created some of the most trippy, interactive and Instagram-able digital art installations ever. It's only fitting, then, that the group is getting its own digital museum in Tokyo, thanks to developer Mori and Epson. The Mori Building Digital Art Museum has 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, with around 50 installations that generate imagery thanks to 520 computers, 470 projectors and numerous motion sensors.

    You can imagine the electricity it takes to power the exhibition, so admission is pretty steep compared to regular museums at 3,200 yen ($30). Every floor and wall is covered by light, and the images react to the presence of the attendees. While each installation is technically separate, they do bleed together as, for example, fish swim from one room to another.

    "The title of the exhibit is 'Borderless' and it's meant to signify how the immersive works keep boundaries between visitors in a state of continuous flux," museum chief Ou Sugiyama, told Bloomberg. "Each visitor can enjoy this experience in their own way."

    To wit, there are no guides, signs or maps, nor admonitions not to photograph or handle the exhibits. That's because there are no art pieces per se that you could damage or destroy -- without the projectors, the museum would just be blank walls and floors. On the contrary, TeamLab wants you to get right in the middle of the art to affect and change it, and photograph yourself doing so if you want to (and you will want to).

    That the Mori Building Digital Art Museum has something for everyone is illustrated by two popular exhibitions. "Athletic Forest" lets you climb, jump, and swing, while projection-mapping technology, which responds to visitor movements, changes the imagery in the process. Budding artists can "draw" an animal on paper and scan it, after which it will swim or prance on the walls.

    "Tea House," meanwhile, lets you enjoy a real matcha tea (for an extra 500 yen, or $4.50), but rather than cream and sugar, you get a digitally projected flower in your cup that disappears when you start drinking. There's also the interactive mirror room with lights that glow and change color when you approach them, offering dramatic selfie opportunities for visitors. Other artworks, like the "Waterfall Room" (at top), explore the life cycles of nature, a recurrent theme with past TeamLab exhibitions.

    Whichever the exhibit, you're sure to get a good view. "There's not just a single vantage point. You become the center, and the artwork changes with you," TeamLab explains. "Everything radiates from your perspective." The Mori Building Digital Art Museum is now open, but if you're heading to Tokyo and plan to visit, you'd be advised to get your tickets well ahead of time -- it's already a big hit.

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