November 30, 2018

teamLab @ Pace Gallery, Palo Alto

teamLab: Continuous Life and Death at the Now of Eternity
Pace Gallery, Palo Alto
November 15, 2018 - January 13, 2019

teamLab, Continuous Life and Death at the Now of Eternity, 2017 
Digital work, 9 channels, endless 
© teamLab
Courtesy Pace Gallery

teamLab: Continuous Life and Death at the Now of Eternity, at Pace’s downtown Palo Alto gallery, features six monitor works in various scales. Each work embodies teamLab’s long-standing interest in the possibilities and meaning of what they call ‘Ultrasubjective Space,” the shallow spatial structure of traditional Japanese painting.  As in Japanese styles as varied as Ukiyo-e prints from the Edo period to contemporary Manga illustrations, figures and objects in teamLab’s compositions exist on a single plane of depth focusing on vertical and horizontal relationships to express dimensionality. It is different but equivalent to western one-point perspective as a system for representing space. Compared to classical western space, the viewer does not hold a dominant perspective over the subject matter but rather, is immersed within an integrated experience with it. Neither subordinate nor superior to western perspective, the implication of this alternative vantage point raises questions regarding how different cultures perceive the world. For instance, what does it mean when systems perceived as opposites are equally true and sustainable?

The exhibition includes a 2017 nine-monitor work of the same name that generates images of flowers and plants, evolving and changing in real time, and never repeating itself. New multi-monitor works include Waves of Light, 2018—a continuous loop of mesmerizing motion of white waves on a gold ground—and Reversible Rotation – Continuous, Black in White, 2018 in which calligraphic lines roam from screen to screen as three-dimensional forms on a two-dimensional surface. Another example of spatial calligraphy, Enso, 2017, is a continuous looped image of the Buddhist symbol of wholeness. Two additional single channel digital works featured in the exhibition include Chrysanthemum Tiger from Fleeting Flower Series, 2017—a brightly colored continuous loop of a tiger rendered with thousands of flowers forming and dissolving before the viewer—and Impermanent Life, 2017—an endlessly evolving, abstracted natural image, eliciting a meditation on the subtle quality of change.

teamLab (f. 2001, Tokyo, by Toshiyuki Inoko) is an interdisciplinary group whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, technology, design, and the natural world. Rooted in the traditions of pre-modern Japanese art and on the forefront of interactive design, teamLab operates from a distinct concept of spatial perception, which they refer to as Ultrasubjective Space. Driven by their investigations of human behavior in the information era, teamLab proposes innovative models for societal development through immersive and participatory installations that employ computer graphics, sensing, sound, and light. Rather than using prerecorded animation, teamLab’s artworks are often rendered digitally in real time, and the actions of viewers cause continuous changes in their appearance and behavior.

Toshiyuki Inoko (b. 1977, Tokushima, Japan) was inspired to form teamLab in 2001 after graduating from the University of Tokyo, where he studied mechanical engineering and physics. Co-founded with his friends, teamLab was conceived as a space for collaborative learning and experimentation, following a common belief in the cogency of digital art and installation. Inoko had long considered the potential of a computer-generated space as a catalyst for change and regarded art as a vehicle to incite thought; within this framework, he committed himself to creating art with digital technology.

teamLab has been the subject of numerous monographic exhibitions, including Dance! Art Exhibition and Learn and Play! teamLab Future Park, at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Tokyo (2014); and What a Loving and Beautiful World, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge (2015). Recent exhibitions dedicated to teamLab include Ever Blossoming, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2016); Graffiti Nature, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2017); Homogenizing and Transforming World, National Gallery Singapore (2017); teamLab: Au-delà des limites, Grand halle de La Villette, Paris (2018); A Time When Art Is Everywhere, Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, North Carolina (2018); and Massless, Amos Rex, Helsinki (2018). In 2018, teamLab partnered with leading urban landscape developer Mori Building Co., Ltd, to open MORI Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless in Tokyo—a digital only art museum encompassing over 60 artworks installed across all elements of the building.

229 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301