Art museum looks to 'expand the beautiful'

Art museum looks to 'expand the beautiful'

The waterfall appears to run down the wall of a room and across the floor, but the flow is an illusion -- a digital exhibit at a new interactive museum in Tokyo.

The flower-filled waterfall is the work of Japanese collective teamLab, known internationally for their innovative “digital art” that combines projections, sound and carefully designed spaces to create otherworldly, immersive experiences.

After exhibitions around the world, they are opening this summer a museum dedicated entirely to their unique brand of artwork.

The space is being billed as a first, a digital museum with artwork that envelops and interacts with visitors.

One space features a bucolic rice field, another is filled with seemingly endless hanging lamps that illuminate as the visitor nears, the light moving from one lamp to another around the room.

Elsewhere, a waterfall filled with flowers appears to flow over a hill or waves crash along the walls, throwing spray towards the ceiling.

The exhibits are designed to flow into one another and interact with each other and the viewer. Some follow visitors or react in different ways when they are touched.

“We have created a borderless world made up of pieces of artwork that move by themselves, communicate with each other and mix perfectly with others,” 41-year-old teamLab co-founder Toshiyuki Inoko said.

“I would like this space to become a place where we can remember that borders do not exist in our world,” he said.

Some exhibits also encourage visitor participation -- in one, viewers are “propelled into space” by bouncing on a trampoline in the midst of an intergalactic projection, in another they can dance in unison with performers who appear as translucent silhouettes.