A Continuous World at
teamLab Borderless

The idea of “screen time” is loaded with negative connotations: alienation, short attention spans, doom scrolling. Yet teamLab Borderless, the art collective’s latest museum in Azabudai Hills, Tokyo, suggests quite the opposite. Displays and projectors are everywhere, but, instead of isolation, they offer a place to connect, contemplate and play. The space opened just four months ago and follows in the footsteps of its original location in Tokyo’s Odaiba district. In 2021, that site – now closed – won the Guinness World Record for the most visited museum dedicated to a single group or artist.

Borderless is a warren of rooms, hallways and doors with no fixed route. Visitors will find themselves stumbling in and out of dancing lights, floral-scented galleries and digital forests. Whilst the works are visually stimulating – many use mirrors, colours or patterns – audiences are encouraged to engage all five senses: to breathe in, reach out, touch the walls and see what happens. The works bleed into one another; a highlight is following the daimyo procession of frogs from room to room – a nod to Japanese cultural history in a place steeped with algorithms. teamLab harnesses real-time rendering: what you see is unique and will never reoccur. Moreover, interactions between people cause works to change, morph and grow. You’re never sure what will be around the corner.

A memorable example is Sketch Ocean, a giant digital aquarium in which attendees can contribute their own sea creature using oil pastels on paper. A simple scan and your picture is dropped “underwater.” It’s a joy to see everyone’s drawings swimming in a shoal, not to mention children laughing at or chasing your design. The message: human creativity is here to stay – whatever your age, wherever you come from.

teamLab Borderless, Tokyo | 9 February – Permanent


Words: Eleanor Sutherland

All images: teamLab, Exhibition view of teamLab Borderless: MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM, 2024, Azabudai Hills, Tokyo © teamLab, courtesy Pace Gallery