High-tech art museum delights with unexpected Zen touch

Wang Jie
The teamLab Borderless Shanghai renders a totally different visual experience to visitors, attempting to "wrap" them all into a digital world inspired by nature and people.
Wang Jie

The beginning of 2020 was a surprise to everyone, with the coronavirus outbreak and time spent in quarantine — painful memories to many.

When the situation eases off in Shanghai, an opportunity to thoroughly indulge oneself in a world of “light and shadow” surfaces at the teamLab Borderless Shanghai.

As part of a series of events and exhibitions during the Quality Life Week, the museum renders a totally different visual experience to visitors, attempting to “wrap” them all into a digital world inspired by nature and people.

When entering the exhibition hall, visitors are greeted by tens of thousands of illuminated hanging lanterns, creating a “Forest of Resonating Lamps” in one stroke.

“The Universe of Water Particles on a Rock where People Gather” features waterfalls, flowers and birds interacting with visitors when they walk close by. Creeks, for instance, detour and flow around visitors’ feet. When touched, flowers bloom and wither within a minute.

Founded in 2001, teamLab is an interdisciplinary art collective made up of technical experts specializing in simulating natural landscapes with technologies, creating beautiful light and shadow spaces.

The collective consists of specialists such as artists, programmers, engineers, computer graphic animators, mathematicians and architects. Digital technology has allowed art to liberate itself from physical and transcendental boundaries. Everything exists in a long and fragile yet miraculous borderless continuity of life.

In 2018, teamLab set up its first all-digital art venue at Tokyo’s Mori Building Digital Art Museum, which soon become one of the world’s most popular art museums, welcoming millions of visitors annually.

Last year in November, teamLab opened a second outpost in Shanghai near the Power Station of Art. After two months of closure amid the coronavirus epidemic, it reopened to the public in March.

Covering 6,600 square meters, it features a collection of 50 teamLab original artworks and interactive installations, some changing appearance with the change of seasons.

For example, the “Memory of Topography” depicts a rural mountain landscape. The scenery instills in viewers a feeling of eternal permanence. However, with the passing of time, the scenery continuously changes. In spring, the rice fields are small and lush. When summer arrives, they begin to mature with fireflies appearing in the dark. Come fall, the land morphs into golden colors.

The movement of insects is also influenced by visitor interaction, jumping around as people meander through the exhibit — so mind your steps while visiting.

The scene in each room isn’t fixed, changing regularly and unexpectedly. Sometimes characters or patterns on the walls become interactive out of the blue.

After the immersive art trip, visitors can satiate themselves at the museum’s new rooftop restaurant.


Hours: 10:30am-7pm (weekdays); 10:30am-8pm (weekends and holidays); closed on the first and third Mondays of a month
Tickets: 199 yuan per person
Tele: 6323-2225
Venue: teamLab Borderless Shanghai
Address: 100 Huayuangang Road

High-tech art museum delights with unexpected Zen touch
Ti Gong

Visitors are immersed in a fluid universe created by digital artworks at the teamLab Borderless Shanghai museum.

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