Monday, April 13, 2015

TeamLab Shake! Art Exhibition ~ Miraikan Science and Technology Museum

Last week was Spring Break for the schools on our base.  So, while our friends had the ability to make an excursion during the day with us, we headed off to O'daiba for a little museum fun!
We were all out of the house around 0830.  We drove up for this trip and made it to Miraikan around 0945.  After parking and getting our things together, we made our way to the ticket booth.  I had heard the museum was insanely busy just a few days before and I was a bit worried that we would be crowded in, especially on a Friday.  But, it was all clear!  We didn't even have to wait in line to buy our tickets!  

The actual name of the place is the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Miraikan.  So, we paid about 1800Yen per adult (620 regular admission and the rest was for the special exhibit).  And we paid around 1200Yen for each child (210 regular, the rest special).  The doors opened at 1000, so we were right on time!  

Some of you may remember the "Poop Museum" post, http://havensfamilyadventures.blogspot.jp/2014/07/national-museum-of-emerging-science-and.html.  This is at the same museum.  This special exhibit will run until May 10th.  Okay...here we go!

Special Exhibition:  
"Dance!  Art Exhibition!  and Learn and Play! teamLab Future Park"

The first thing we did was head straight to the 7th floor for the Floating Flower Garden.  

When we arrived we were immediately next in line.  :)  We waited for 5 minutes, at the most, for the group ahead of us to finish.  While we waited we watched the flowers move up and down. From this view, the room looked huge!



There are over 2,300 orchids hanging from the ceiling in the room.  Yes, the flowers are all alive and growing!  When you get close to the flower strand the flowers close to you rise upwards.  I think the intention was to have a couple people in there and as you move in a small group the flowers would surround you, with the space you are in hanging above your head.  But, we had three little ones, two of which were skirting around the edges of the room like ninjas.  Oh, and the room isn't as big as it seemed...the mirrored walls give the impression that the room is monstrous!  

"Flowers and I are of the same root, the Garden and I are one." 
~ On the wall outside the exhibit.  



When we finished here we made our way back to the first floor so we could get into the special exhibit.
Entry way for the special exhibit

I couldn't give a better explanation of the exhibit than this:

"We wanted to let children in Japan experience art...interacting in the same space with other people, working together to have a creative experience, in a space where they would be able to run around freely!"

The very first room we walked into was a dark room with flowers being projected onto every surface.

"Art is the creation of the future"


The next room had several moving art pictures.  One side had a few frames with pictures inside that moved, a separate idea from the next.



The other side of the wall had 12 frames that made up one long idea.  teamLab based the 12 film stories on themes of:  civilization and nature, collision, circulation, symbiosis.  It is a set of moving art all along the wall, with each picture flowing seamlessly into the next.

Flower and Corpse Glitch Set of 12


Next up, along the back wall was a jungle scene.  In this digital picture teamLab used 2D animation in a 3D space to create space distortion.  In the short video below (I had a longer one but our internet got mad at me for trying to load such a big file) you can see the pixels changing in the picture.



The next room is teamLab's Future Park.  This is where they give an environment for children to run freely and become a part of the art, to put their hands on it, to create it, and to watch it.

On the wall just as you enter the room was a huge graphic where kanji were floating down the wall.  The boys skipped right over this one, but it caught Mackenzie's eye.  As you touched the falling kanji (actually a more ancient form of current kanji) it would transform into what it actually means.  There was fire, an elephant, a horse, birds, water, sun...so many things.  You can see her create an elephant and then a fire.  The elephant then tries to walk toward the fire, but turns around so it doesn't get burned.  Then, she creates a fox that runs off.  After that is a fire and a rising sun.  The last one was water, but she didn't get it before it moved behind the fire.





One section had a table that looked like it had grass, train tracks, and roads.  There were blocks on the table that the kids could move around on the roads.

At the next table, a round table, the kids could capture little people, use water to put out fires, and coax shapes to the center to explode into fireworks.




From here we made our way to a group of tables with coloring pictures and special crayons to use.  The kids each picked an undersea creature and colored it.  When they were finished they took the picture to a lady in the corner who scanned it and then pointed to the huge scene on the wall...

That's Garytt's brown squid







Mackenzie's seahorse fell into a big blob of creatures at the bottom of the sea so I didn't get a good shot of that one.  

The next station was another set of tables with city coloring pages and special crayons.  On our way to this station one of the museum attendants told me to make sure I went outside to the 3D picture.  I thought she meant we had to go outside to scan the pictures for the 3D show, but then I found the lady that scanned the pictures in the room...I was confused.

Here is Boy's truck...it gets kidnapped by the golden UFO



Here is Mackenzie's UFO



The next station was a long path where the kids walked and changed the floor under them as they made their way to the other side.  On the edge of the walkway were four computer screens where the kids watching could create their own pattern on the floor for the next person in line to walk on.


Next up:  huge colored balls!  They changed color every few seconds.  Boy only got crazy enough to knock one kid down.  :/


When we finished with this section we walked out and accidentally found the 3D room the attendant told me about earlier.  So, we gave her the kids's flat drawings, she scanned them into the printer and a few seconds later we got this...


(I realized I didn't have a 'before' shot of Mackenzie's after I cut most of it out.)  That night I cut them out and this is what we had:


Okay, so after we finished with the special exhibit we went up to the cafeteria and had lunch.  When we finished lunch we made our way to the permanent exhibit, the science and innovation part of the museum.  WAY above the kids heads.  They played with a few knobs and buttons but weren't too interested.  And, I must say, the androids kind of freaked me out, so I wasn't too upset about skipping several parts of this section.  If you have kids in middle/high school then this would be a great area to learn about droids, robotic arms, internet, etc.  There was even an interactive section we tried with the kids, but we couldn't get it to work.  I think that's because it tracks you through the exhibit.  You scan your entrance ticket into a machine and when it opens the door for you to enter a bubble forms around your feet with an arrow pointing the direction to move.  I think it takes you station to station.  One of the stations grew arms on the floor that tried to grab me!  I didn't want my kids to run in alone, so we all three went in at once and I think that messed up the computer's brain.  So, it was chaos for the three of us.  We only spent a few minutes in here before moving on.

There was a small section for younger kids to play with robotics.  One area had a 3D viewer where the kids could turn a projected image.  They were supposed to move their heads left, right, up and down to see how the hologram changed.  Then, they tried to "grab" the picture...that was pretty neat!  They all squealed at that one!

Outside this area was the wall to the right.  It has those secret circles where you stick your hand blindly into the space and try to figure out what's in it.  The first few were easy, baby dolls and things like that.  Garytt stuck his hand in the last hole and quick as lightning, yanked his arm out with a "aaaghgugh" sound.  LOL  Turns out there was a skeleton hand in that one.  It scared him pretty good!


Our last stop of the day was the Curiosity Field, where the kids were supposed to move station to station and learn what it is like to become a successful adult.  The four girls sat on benches outside this area.  The three boys went in and right to the Lego play area.  After playing there for quite a while (there was a 45 minute time limit on the experience and they probably spend about 30 in that area), then they moved to the back of the room where there was a sloped "hill".  I'm not sure of the point for this area, but what the boys did was slide different objects downhill.  Then, they progressed to racing certain objects as they flew downhill.


I'm glad I just happened to see a friend's post about this exhibit.  I will have to make sure I check the museum site periodically to see what fun activity they have scheduled to be displayed.  For about $35 we spent an entire day in this awesome museum playing with art and using our imaginations to the fullest!  Can't beat that kind of rainy day - spring break - kind of fun!