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With ‘DMM.Planets’ exhibition, teamLab defines the future of art

by Mark Jarnes

Staff Writer

An exponential evolution in technology has led to increasingly immersive and interactive entertainment. And a certain Tokyo-based digital art collective is light years ahead of the rest.

Multifaceted creative group teamLab’s “DMM.Planets” is a massive 3,000 square-meter exhibition taking place at Odaiba Minna no Yume-Tairiku 2016 ~A World of Wonders~ in Tokyo, and will run through Aug. 31.

“This is an ultra-exciting art event,” says Toshiyuki Inoko, the head and creative core of teamLab. “You can get lost in a vast and endless universe of light, float in the dizzyingly enormous dome space and even enter a water artwork that stretches out for infinity.”

The vast structure is separated into four spaces, each with its own distinct look, feel and way of interacting with visitors.

“Wander through the Crystal Universe” invites you to take a stroll among the stars — thousands of strands of LEDs that create countless points of light that react to the human presence. Using a smartphone app, visitors will be able to change the colors, or elements, that make up the impressive 3-D light installation. In “Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers,” CG butterflies can be released into a flower-filled universe with a smartphone, creating a scene that cannot be replicated or ever recur. Also part of the exhibition is a never-ending digital pond where koi react to people’s movements in the water, and a “Soft Black Hole” where visitors’ body weight changes the shape of the dimly-lit installation.

“I really wanted to make art that would make people think ‘Wow! Tokyo is awesome!’ ” Inoko says. With “DMM.Planets,” he may have succeeded in much more than that.

“DMM.Planets” takes place at Odaiba Minna no Yume-Tairiku 2016 ~A World of Wonders~ in Koto-ku, Tokyo, through Aug. 31 (10 a.m.-10 p.m.). Admission to the venue costs ¥2,000 with discounts at night and for students. For more details, visit exhibition.team-lab.net/dmmplanets2016/en.