Japanese art and tech studio teamLab calls itself a collective that “explores a new relationship between humans and the world through art that transcends boundaries.” Known for its immersive installations that use technology to create responsive art, teamLab’s newest piece plays on traditions while looking toward the future. Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Cherry Blossoms is a new, spring-themed immersive experience on view as part of the teamLab Borderless digital art museum in Tokyo.
Spectators are invited to wander through a room filled with Murano glass lamps, which react to their movement by emitting light that then resonates out to neighboring lamps. The collective has a similar installation in cool blue tones on permanent display in Odaiba, Tokyo. In this iteration, warm shades of pinkish-red light inspired by cherry blossoms filled the mirror-paved room. Filled with meaning in Japanese culture, it’s appropriate that cherry blossoms would be used during the spring season. The ephemeral nature of the twinkling lights mirror the symbolism of these delicate flowers.
In conceiving the immersive installation, teamLab was inspired by the Japanese tradition Kasane no Irome. Literally meaning “layers of color,” the term defined the color schemes created by the delicate layering of silks during Heian-era Japan. “The complicated colors were the result of a combination of front and back colors (silk at the time was so thin that the liner was transparent, creating more nuanced colors), overlapping color gradations, complex weave colors, and combinations of warp and weft,” teamLab writes. “The lamps in this exhibit shine brightly and then fade; and in the light, we can see the spring Kasane no Irome color: Cherry Blossoms.”
In this surreal world, the lamps seem scattered, but in reality, they have a single connecting line. Their uniform, staggered arrangement provides a visually stimulating, yet soothing sensory experience. And as viewers enjoy the installation, they can hear a soundscape created by Hideaki Takahashi.
Just as sakura—cherry blossoms—last only a few weeks, so too will this edition of Forest of Resonating Lamps. The dazzling installation will be on view in March and April at teamLab Borderless in the Mori Building Digital Art Museum. While there, you can also enjoy highlights of teamLab’s most memorable installations, which are on permanent display.