A Visit to the Crystal Universe

Art has also caught up with the digital times. Recently, I have visited this talk-of-the-town event in Odaiba, in Tokyo called DMM.PLANETS Art.  It is an interactive art museum presented by teamLab, a start up company that creates various artwork through digital technology. They teamed up with DMM.com to help them with the marketing.

Official Website of the event:
http://exhibition.team-lab.net/dmmplanets2016/en/

This event is actually part of the annual Fuji TV’s summer festival called Odaiba Minna no YUME-TAIRIKU 2016 ~A World of Wonders~. To get into the art exhibit, a one day pass of the Odaiba Minna no YUME-TAIRIKU festival is needed. This costs 2000yen (around $20) per person.

Upon entering the event, the staff will be requesting you to leave your items except your mobile phones and camera inside a free locker. Then, you will be handed over a waterproof smartphone bags to keep your cameras dry as one of the event requires water to enjoy. No one is allowed to walk with their shoes on inside the hall so you would need to leave your shoes inside the lockers as well. If you are worried that your feet might be too muddy from the outside, don’t worry, you will all be asked to wash your feet on water, although I bet others will be a little worried sharing the same water with everyone else.

Anyway, fun part starts here.  The art exhibit is sectioned into four parts.

First, you will be entering the soft black hole which is a small room that will make you feel like you are sinking into a mud hole. The room is actually a big bean bag, which lets you sink into it, creating the same feeling of sinking into a mud hole. From all my experience in this event, I would say this is the most comfortable one. I could stay here longer if I could.

The second exhibit is the most famous one called Crystal Universe. It is a mirror room full of LED lights which dances into different patterns in different times throughout your experience. To be there feels like you are floating in space of lights. In my opinion, this has the wow factor among all the exhibitions.  You will literally hear the wow of all the people entering this section.

The third exhibit, another unique one, is called Drawing on the Water Surface. Here, you will be submerged in a toe-deep milky pond of glowing koi fishes, sakura flowers, and various colors. They move as you float with them. The fishes and flowers are actually digital projections. This is the most unique experience among these exhibitions. I have never played with art on water before.

The last one is called the Floating in the Falling Universe of Flowers. This is the last among the lineup. The exhibit is in a planetarium of floating flowers and leaves, which are all projections. The room is also a mirrored room creating a seamless universe. You enjoy it by lying on your back, just like watching the stars on a planetarium.  However, if you have motion sickness, please prepare yourself for a dizzy ride.

All in all, the visit is both unique and exciting. You wouldn’t know what to expect until you reach the next room. The exhibition created a more mysterious entrance to the other room by making you walk into a dark corridor, which is sometimes a bother when you drop something on the ground, or you miss some of your companions.

Anyway, I was only able to take snaps of the Crystal Universe exhibition as the other exhibits are too dark for pictures.

Crystal Universe

Crystal Universe Crystal Universe

Crystal Universe Crystal Universe

Crystal Universe

Some tips for you:
As the event is very famous, waiting times can go from 30 minutes to almost 2 hours depending on the day. Weekdays has lesser waiting time but choose your time wisely as waiting time could still go as long as 90 minutes. If you hate waiting though, fear not. There is an option for priority ticket which lets you get inside the hall without waiting in line.

References:
http://exhibition.team-lab.net/dmmplanets2016/en/
http://www.fujitv.co.jp/yumetairiku/index.html

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