Let's get digital: welcome to Tokyo's new art museum

Art transcends the world of analogue at one Japanese museum, swapping conventional forms for the eye-popping contemporary.

By Josephine Price
Published 8 Oct 2018, 09:00 BST, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 12:08 BST
One of the exhibitions at Tokyo's Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless

Leave your brushes and canvases at the door — welcome to the world's first all-digital art museum. Opened in June, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum in Odaiba, Tokyo, is part of the interdisciplinary movement by teamLab Borderless — an experimental art collective — that's shaking up the art world. You won't find gilded frames and velvet rope barriers here; the museum celebrates the ever-decreasing borders between technology and society in an effort to liberate art from its conventional and physical constrictions. Instagrammable exhibition spaces are designed with the 'immersive experience' generation in mind: guests can glide through a forest of lights that react and respond to movement, dart through rolling, Hokusai-esque waves or take time out for tea in the En Tea House, where digital flowers blossom on the surface of your brew. It borders on an Alice in Wonderland-style assault on the senses, but it's a bold, brilliant new chapter in how we consume art. 

Three to try: illuminating exhibitions

Yayoi KusAma at Victoria Miro, London
The Japanese artist with a penchant for polka dots returns to London. Expect new paintings and sculptures alongside the perennially popular Infinity Mirror Room. Though nearing 90, her popularity shows no sign of waning. Until 21 December. 

Klimt at Atelier des Lumières, Paris
The French capital welcomes an innovative way to experience the classics with its new digital sensory adventure. Walk among projections of the works of Klimt and his contemporaries in this celebration of Viennese art. Until 6 January. 

History Lessons at the Imperial Palace, Innsbruck
The Austrian Emperor Maximillian I is being celebrated in an all-new light show in the courtyard of the Imperial Palace this winter to mark the 500th anniversary of his death. Check into the city and check out the story. Until 20 January. innsbruck.info

Published in the November 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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