Mythological Japanese Imagery Comes Alive In These Animated, Digital Paintings
Japanese digital art innovators teamLab made a stunning US debut at Pace Gallery with "Ultra Subjective Space."
Innovative digital art collective teamLab has produced a multitude of forward-thinking projects in today's Japanese art ecosystem, including such eye-widening works as a projection mapped water simulations and a world of glowing, musical orbs. Recently, the group has begun to reach across the Pacific and establish a foothold among US art aficionados. That foothold has manifested in an show at the 25th Street Pace Gallery called Ultra Subjective Space—teamLab's first ever exhibition within the United States. The exciting debu is full to the brim with flowing digital water, Edo period-inspired animated digital paintings, and serenely morphing abstract plants.
The Creators Project visited Pace Gallery to check out the work in person, and it was rather spectacular to behold. Each image dominated the wall it hung on, endlessly looping, yet never seeming repetitive. One of the pieces, Flower and Corpse Glitch, is a set of 12 interconnected digital frames drawing upon the Japanese Edo period 'super flat' aesthetic.
The European standard of linear perspective is absent from these compositions, allowing viewers to place themselves anywhere inside the scene, rather than being limited to a single point of view. The moving images of Flower and Corpse Glitch only enhance this effect, which teamLab likes to call 'Ultra Subjective Space.' Each frame captures a "film stor[y] based on the themes of: civilization and nature, collision, circulation, symbiosis," according to teamLab's website.
The Pace Gallery space includes four other works from teamLab's repertoire: Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as Well - Light in Dark, 2014; Ever Blossoming Life, 2014; Cold Life, 2014; and Universe of Water Particles - 2013. They each capture a celebratory perspective on nature, effortlessly combined with the sleek, clean, hi-tech texture intrinsic in their medium.
Ultra Subjective Space opened on July 17 and will be open to the public until August 15. In October, the Japan Society will host teamLab's second ever U.S. exhibition entitled, Garden of Unearthly Delights: Works by Ikeda, Tenmyouya & teamLab, which will feature some of their cutting edge interactive pieces.