By Carter Cromwell

JapanBall tour guest Scott Kidd in the “Forest of Lamps” (Photo: Shane Barclay)

teamLab is an interdisciplinary group of artists formed in Tokyo in 2001. But the disciplines of group members are not traditional ones like painting, sculpting, or photography. Members are called “Ultra-technologists” because the troupe is composed of programmers, engineers, computer graphics animators, mathematicians, and architects that pool their talents to create interactive, digitally-focused work.

teamLab describes its renowned museum as “a world of artworks without boundaries, a museum without a map . . . a group of artworks that form one borderless world. Artworks move out of rooms, communicate with other works, influence and sometimes intermingle with each other with no boundaries.”  

It asks visitors to “immerse your body in borderless art in this vast, complex, three-dimensional 10,000-square-meter world. Wander, explore with intention, discover, and create a new world with others.”

Wow . . . OK.  

teamLab Borderless is a bit hard to describe in plain English. It is a digital, interactive art project powered by 520 computers and 470 projectors. This “borderless world” has been described as “an immersive world where artistic expression remains unbridled.” But what does that mean? And exactly what is meant by words and phrases such as “interactive,” “communicate with other works,” and “intermingle with no boundaries”?  

Clearly, it is unique. It’s located in what is called the MORI Building Digital Art Museum, but it’s not a museum in the traditional sense. It’s, well… it’s best to take a look at this video to start understanding the place. And maybe check out this one, too, if you have more time.

But really, you’re best off just checking it out in person!

Visitors can wander through the various rooms and see how each piece of art influences and connects with others. Each room continually changes, and the visitor experience can be different at different times of day – due in part to how each visitor might interact with the space and how the colors and sounds change.  

JapanBall tour guest Scott Kidd enters the “Crystal World” (Photo: Shane Barclay)
Taking a floor-selfie in the “Crystal World” (Photo: Shane Barclay)

Where: Odaiba Palette Town 2F, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo.  teamLab Borderless is on the 2nd floor of Palette Town next to the giant Ferris wheel entrance.  

When: Here is information about days of operation and opening hours.

The museum is open despite the Covid-19 pandemic, but tickets must be purchased online. They are not available at the museum. It’s recommended that tickets be purchased well in advance, as this is a very popular destination for locals and tourists alike!

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The rear entrance to the shopping alley. Photo: Shane Barclay

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