Science & Technology

Japan’s TeamLab blends sauna in new exhibition

Tokyo, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- Japan’s art collective, TeamLab, has melded a sauna and new exhibition “Reconnect” in Tokyo to let visitors see art from a completely new perspective.

The exhibition, which will be open to the public between Mar. 22 and Aug. 31, comprises of six works, perhaps the least obvious of them lamps that illuminate the corridors between the saunas.

The exhibition’s creators describe it as a sauna inside a museum.

The installations comprise seven rooms that combine temperature, humidity, and natural scents of various kinds, from juniper, pine, and birch to roasted green tea, with the sounds of the wind and the sea, seeking to satisfy both beginners and sauna veterans.

Each of the saunas is identified with a color with which the lamps in the corridors light up each time someone opens one of their doors, letting visitors become aware of the presence of others.

The concept of community, of reconnection at a time of aversion to close contact with another on account of the Covid pandemic is one of the focal points of the exhibition, Takashi Kudo, a member of TeamLab, told EFE.

“We always try to make installations that use technology and try to get people to become immersed in our works. (…) Now we’re trying to use a kind of scientific method, which is sauna, to make it much easier for people to be immersed in art. It’s very challenging and fun,” Kudo says.

The concept is to place the visitor in a trance that sharpens the senses through the combination of saunas and cold showers.

This in turn triggers a response from both the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems, so “you are relaxed but also somewhat awake at the same time” to admire the work from another perspective, he explains.

“We wanted to create a luxurious state of mind for people to experience these works of art,” the Japanese adds.

The three largest installations consist of a large sphere that defies gravity to levitate owing to optimal control of air currents, a play of lights and water that seems to solidify like glass until the visitor becomes immersed in the work, and a projection that invites reflection on the eternal cycle of life and death.

When the viewer sits, his presence is captured by a sensor that triggers a projection generated by a real-time program, flowers blooming and wilting. The interaction between people and the installation continually changes the work, whose image at every moment will be unique and unrepeatable.

The visual experience is accompanied by music performed by Hideaki Takahashi to heighten the temporal experience as well. EFE-EPA


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