Odaiba: Digital Art Lab

If you’re planning on visiting Tokyo, the Digital Art Lab in Odaiba should definitely have a place on your itinerary.

Featuring displays that react to guests’ movements and touch, the interior feels like an endless labyrinth with living art installations that are constantly morphing and traveling between rooms.

In one hallway a stylized lion composed of illuminated flowers walked alongside me, matching me stride for stride. When I stopped, the lion did too. As I raised my camera to snap a photo, the lion turned to regard me and looked straight at me.

Other rooms feature walls and floors that respond to touch, and even a tea house where floral light patterns seem to grow from your tea cup. Move the cup and the flower disperses in the digital wind, while a new one blooms in your cup’s new location.

One of my favorite areas was a room comprised of nothing but tens of thousands of LED light strips pulsing to the beat of an epic orchestral track. One moment you’re surrounded by crystalline lights sparkling like stars, the next you’re bathed in digital rain like something out of the Matrix films.

Digital Art Lab’s crystalline LED room
Thousands of LEDs surround a winding path which opens up into a clearing at Tokyo’s Digital Art Lab.

Another room uses angled floors and walls to enhance the effects of a spectacular 3D light show. I had to steady myself as the view lurched out to what looked like a galactic view with stars flying past. The effect was so realistic, I experienced a sense of vertigo.

There’s a mushroom forest, a kids area with illuminated slides and trampolines, and lots of out-of-the-way, hard to find rooms that reward exploration with spectacular displays.

Tokyo Digital Art Lab
Large rooms like the one pictured here feature dynamic and responsive art displays. Visitors can scatter flowers on the walls by touching them, and divert the flow of waterfalls by standing beneath them.

 

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