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  • Writer's pictureDeana Galbraith

Forest of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn

The "Forest of Flowers and People: Lost, Immersed and Reborn," is an exhibit at the Mori Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless. The museum exhibits are full of lights, mirrors, and projectors that offer several opportunities to explore. I'll be focusing on the “Forest of Flowers and Peoples” exhibit.

The "Forest of Flowers and People” is an installation where flowers bud, grow, and blossom with the changing seasons. It focuses on the cycle of growth and decay of the featured flowers. Viewers can walk around the space and are surrounded by abundant flowers. You can step or touch flowers which will result in the petals shedding and dying. The flowers are also influenced by other works such as flying butterflies. Butterflies gather in various places across the exhibit where flowers are blooming. The flowers scatter when crows enter the forest or when the waterfall swells as well.

teamLab’s website goes in depth about the rationality behind the exhibit. “Before the modern era, civilization prospered by the sea. Since then it moved inland leaving pockets of isolated people in the solitary valleys. In these valleys there are faint traces of the relationship with nature that existed. If nature cannot be controlled, perhaps a hint for the future lies in the relationship that once existed between humans and nature.”

The Art Asia Pacific Magazine wrote a piece about the exhibit asking a very good question, “Can digital art raise awareness about our environment?” I believe it can, viewers who have participated in the exhibit received firsthand experience in how humans can affect their environment. The exhibit demonstrates the connection humans have with plants and how, when disrupted, we can destroy it.

In an interview with designboom, teamLab expressed an interest in exploring new relationships between humans and nature through art. In the interview they stated, “Digital technology has allowed us to liberate art from the physical and transcend boundaries. We see no boundary between ourselves and nature; one is in the other and the other in one. Everything exists in a long, fragile yet miraculous continuity of life.”

This experience isn't a video or prerecorded animation on a loop, the work is rendered in real time by a special computer program. The interaction between the viewer and the exhibit causes continuous changes to the artwork. Each person’s experience is unique, no matter the number of times you visit. teamLab’s is bringing a breathtakingly, stunning and immersive experience which highlights the connectivity of humanity and our environment. If you get the chance to visit one of their exhibits, check it out!


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