Before visiting Team Lab I purposely kept myself ignorant with what to expect, wanting to experience everything first-hand. After visiting, I now think a little bit of research would’ve helped me to get more out of the experience.
The Planets exhibition was an aesthetically stunning science-fictional maze, working to engage every sense.
The ‘largest immersive digital art exhibition in Tokyo’ was both meditative and interactive.
The exhibition is located in Koto City, Tokyo and is accessible by train, bus and metro. We struggled to find the transport from the subway station so we just crossed the Harumi Bridge on foot; it took twenty minutes.
It was a short wait to go into the exhibition and this was the only point of the experience that wasn’t relaxing or pleasant. Lining up to enter, then being herded into the dark, busy locker room made me feel like battery-farmed cattle. My sister thought I’d brought her to a horror house.
Happy to report, we were pleasantly surprised.
After taking off shoes and socks, changing into rental shorts and putting our things into lockers, we headed in. The exhibition began with us walking uphill through a stream in the dark. Water running over my feet quickly distracted me from the stressful start off.
This state of calm was put on hold when we entered what I can only describe as a beanbag room. The room was dark and completely cushioned, walls included. Seeing adults and children alike jumping and crawling across the lumpy cushions to get to the other side was hilarious, even more so when I joined in.
The walkways from room to room were carpeted with different textures, which my feet were pretty thankful for.
The large room we entered next was filled with lights. I’d tumbled into a scene of I, Robot and was suddenly gazing up at VIKI.
The lights were fluid; changing colour and brightness constantly.
Another room had us wading through lukewarm water reaching up to our shins. Lights projected swimming fish and flower blossoms drifting across the surface of the water. The fish swam around your legs and I later learned that touching the fish turned them into blossoms; making the exhibition even more interactive than I thought!
Next came a room with giant colour-changing balls.
After that came the floral observatory. This exhibit was called ‘floating in the falling universe of flowers’ and it was so beautiful.
We lay down and watched the different flowers drift by feeling totally zen. In hindsight I learned that you could interact with this exhibit too, sending butterflies from your phone.
I left Team Lab Planets feeling pretty chilled out and very impressed. I can definitely say it was an experience unlike any other I’ve had before. While not researching beforehand meant that I was pleasantly surprised, it also meant that I missed out on some opportunities to be interactive.