Known for its immersive, technology-driven installations, Japanese art and tech studio teamLab’s newest installation transforms old bath house ruins with projected, nature-inspired artwork. The beautiful Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins piece is part of a larger nighttime exhibition titled A Forest Where Gods Live, that sprawls across the 500,000-square-meter Mifuneyama Rakuen Park on the Japanese island of Kyushu.
The teamLab creatives installed a series of tall “megaliths” that appear to emerge from the floor of the park’s abandoned bath house. “The bath house was made in modern times, but after just a short period, it was abandoned, becoming a space-time where time had stopped completely,” says teamLab. “And this group of megaliths is also a mass made up of compressed space-times where the flow of time varies. Here, various space-times intersect and overlap.”
Each megalith acts as a canvas for protected artwork that changes over time depending on the interaction of visitors in the room. “The artwork is continuously rendered in real time by a computer program,” explains teamLab. “It is neither prerecorded, nor on loop. As a whole, previous states never recur, and the artwork is continuously changing due to the movement of people. Every moment is unique and can never be seen again.”
From blooming and withering flowers to cascading waterfalls, the nature-inspired artwork visualizes fleeting moments in time. If a person visiting the exhibition stands still at the Flowers and People megaliths, the flowers grow more abundantly. However, as they move away, they start to fade and wither. Similarly, the Universe of Water Particles installation features protected waterfalls that change in flow as people approach the structures.
Each artwork also influences the other—the water in one causes the flowers to scatter in the other. “The interaction between the particles is calculated and then lines are drawn in relation to the behavior of the water particles,” explain the artists. “The lines are ‘flattened’ using what teamLab considers to be ultrasubjective space.”
You can currently experience the Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins installation for yourself at Mifuneyama Rakuen Park through to November 4, 2019.