TeamLab: Borderless – Forest of Flowers and People and Other Exhibits

Last week, we explored the upper floors of TeamLab Borderless at the Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Odaiba, Tokyo. This week, we’ll take a gander at all the other exhibits they have hiding in the labyrinth of the first floor. Most are interactive, some are merely for spectating, but all have something visually arresting for you to see.

Forest of Flowers and People

This is the main area you’ll probably find yourself in from the darkened hallways. On the walls, you’ll see projections of insane bunches of flowers: brilliant reds, yellows, and pinks will shift and flow across the walls. There’s a nice corner covered in sunflowers that appears to be a popular photography spot as well, so keep an eye out for that! From here, you’ll more than likely end up in the waterfall room that you’ve seen in all those Instagram pics and news articles. It’s an impressive display, and there’s even a small balcony you can access to get more of a bird’s-eye view of the patrons taking their fun waterfall pics.

Memory of Topography

Topography - Two Second Street -

This room has some crazy lily pads that bounce around on springs. They’re there to act as a sort of artificial barrier to guide you through the exhibit, and to act as canvasses for the projections to dance across. As in most rooms, there is a large mirror at the bottom to show you all that you passed through. It’s a nice display and one of the less-crowded ones, given its relatively low profile and small room size.

Forest of Lamps

This is another famous one I see a lot in people’s photographs. It’s essentially an infinity room made with mirrors on the walls and floors. The lamps will periodically change colors, giving for different experiences each time. You have to queue up, and then you are given around a minute or two to walk through the piece with other patrons. While we were in line, the room (which is visible via one-way mirrors) was a brilliant blue and purple, but when we entered, it was a more autumnal red and orange. Great room to snap some fun pictures!

Light Sculpture

This one I hadn’t seen anywhere. Compared to other pieces, it may see a bit too simple or bland for some. It’s essentially beams of light that constantly change their configuration to create new shapes of light. I enjoyed watching them rotate and move around the room but I wouldn’t recommend staying for too long.

The Crystal World

This is another big one: It’s a large forest made of LED light strands that dance around to synchronized routines. How are these routines decided? Well, by museum visitors! They have a TeamLab app that you can download, and this is the single exhibit that you use the app for.

TeamLab App - Two Second Street -

You’ll start on the main page, where all you have to do is tap on the Crystal Forest picture in the center of your screen.

TeamLab App 2 - Two Second Street -

You then pick a mood from a set of icons. Each icon will activate a different show. Most of the time, due to the number of people swiping wildly on mobile devices, your option may not get picked.

Once you see the message on your phone, look up and your selected mood will begin playing. I got lucky and my input of a butterfly resulted in LED butterflies flittering about the crystal world.

Butterfly Crystal Forest - Two Second Street -
My butterflies! I did this!

This is the only place in the exhibit where the app is used, so don’t drain your battery trying to activate things outside of the Crystal Forest.

There are so many more displays to be found, but I want you to be able to discover them yourselves, should you get the opportunity to visit. There are moving light portraits, and, one of my honorable mentions, a room where if you stand still, you can host little cocoons that sprout into butterflies that begin to flitter about the room. It’s a fantastic experience, especially for children, that’s worth the price of admission. If you find yourself overwhelmed, they also have well-lit rest areas with vending machines and restrooms so you can take a time-out from the sensory overload. It’s a wonderful mix of sensory details and I’m very happy that I was able to experience it first-hand.


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