Currently on display in Tokyo is “Floating Flower Garden,” an immersive, interactive installation of blossoming vegetation. Visitors enter a room filled with floating flowers. But as you approach them the flowers rise into the air, creating an air bubble within the dense forest.
When a viewer gets close to this flower-filled space, the flowers close to the viewer rise upwards all at once, creating a hemispherical space with the viewer at its center. In other words, although the whole space is filled with flowers, a hemispherical space is constantly being created with the viewer at its center and the viewer is free to move around wherever they want. If many viewers get close to one another, the dome spaces link up to form one single space.
Floating Flower Garden – 花と我と同根、庭と我と一体と βVer.
In this interactive floating flower garden viewers are immersed in flowers, and become completely one with the garden itself.
Over 2,300 floating flowers bloom in the space. These flowers are alive and growing with each passing day.
Each flower has a partner insect and the scent of the flowers becomes stronger at the time that the insect is most active, as a result the scent of the air in the garden space changes according to the time of day, morning, noon, and evening.
Japanese Zen gardens are said to have been born as a place for Zen priests to carry out training so that they can become one with nature, the garden is a microcosm of the vastness of the surrounding natural mountain areas where they gathered to train.
There is a Zen kōan (a question or story that is part of a Zen priests theological training) called, “Nansen’s Flower”. A man named Rikukô Taifu, while talking with Nansen, said, “Jô Hoshi says, ‘Heaven and I are of the same root. All things and I are of the same substance.’ How wonderful this is!”. Nansen, pointing at a flower in the garden said, “People of these days see this flower as if they were in a dream.”
A person will become integrated with a flower when they look at a flower and the flower looks at them, possibly at this time the person will truly see the flower for the first time.
Floating Flower Garden is the latest installation by TeamLab, a Japanese art collective of “ultra-technologists” lead by Toshiyuki Inoko. They’re currently staging a large-scale retrospective of work at Miraikan in Tokyo. The show has been so popular that it got extended for 2 months and this piece was installed as an encore. It’s currently on view, along with the rest of the show, through May 1, 2015.
teamLab, 2015, Interactive Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi