Asian Art Museum showcases Tokyo-based Immersive Artwork
And It's A Kaleidescope Stunner
By Kathy Chin Leong
Go. Go now before the exhibition leaves in February. The San Francisco Asian Art Museum hit a home run recently when it debuted, in July, TeamLab: Continuity , an immersive art experience at it new 8,500 square foot pavilion donated by Jerry Yang, founder of Yahoo. The TeamLab artists are a collective of talented digital masters based in Tokyo, and their installations are already in permanent galleries around the globe.
Our family recently experienced this thrilling event, and everyone ages 11 to 82 found it fascinating to be immersed in projections of sunflowers, streaks of lightening, and swarms of butterflies that would change rhythmically to a touch of the flower, butterfly, or Japanese character or image.
Piping in chimes and enthralling music to capture the mood, the immersive experience can be overwhelming for those not used to floor-to-ceiling moving images, for you do feel at times that you may lose your balance. Those with vertigo may have issues here. But the 14 digital art elements are stunning and redefine the museum art adventure as we know it today. Will digital art be the staple of artwork from now on?
The scenes change dynamically and not in a looping fashion as it responds to audience interaction and movement. One voluminous room features pillows and walls that angle at the base so you sit and lean back, staring at the whirling lines of green and white and blue that make you feel as though it is nighttime in an other-worldly planet. Another wall is filled with yellow sunflowers, packed densely together, swaying to an imaginary breeze.
One wall reveals a three-dimensional rotating wisteria with branches that turn around slowly and petals that gently fall. It is so alluring you want to touch it and wish you could smell its fragrance. One of our clan’s favorite rooms was the Sketch Aquarium and Sketch Ocean exhibit located in a separate area by the gift shop. This is where guests can be creative and draw ocean creatures which are immediately uploaded to the digital aquarium walls. It is an amazing experience to see your own artwork floating and moving alongside other creations. And when you touch any of the drawn images on the wall such as an octopus, for example, it flips around and swims the other way.
How long does this activity last? Spend at least an hour to get your money’s worth and take another hour or more to venture through the revamped galleries. Over the last five years, the museum has been steadily remodeling and reshaping its exhibit presentation. It’s worth a visit if it has been awhile! Plus, the café and gift shop are worth a trek as well.
Asian Museum of Art
200 Larkin St.