TeamLab creates virtual vortex as inaugural installation for Helsinki’s Amos Rex gallery

Japanese art collective TeamLab has created a site-specific digital installation of water moving towards a vortex, on the inside of a domed roof in the new Amos Rex museum in Helsinki.

The artists created the installation as part of TeamLab: Massless, the inaugural show at the Amos Rex, which opens on 30 August 2018.

Named Vortex of Light Particles, the installation occupies the largest exhibition space of the JKMM Architects-designed museum. The domed roof of the gallery, which bulges into the public square above, forms the canvas for the audio-visual artwork.

Over 50 projectors are used to show an interpretation of water flowing towards the space where a skylight is positioned, in the roof of the gallery. The skylight has been covered with black material to stop light entering the installation.

TeamLab created the representation by calculating the interaction between water particles and then drawing lines in relation to their behaviour.

“Our work Vortex of Light Particles, which we are creating especially for this occasion, will be the largest installation in the exhibition,” said Toshiyuki Inoko, founder of TeamLab.

“We have created a digital simulation of water pouring upward in reversed gravity towards the uniquely and beautifully domed ceiling, flowing from this underground space to the skylight above, he continued.

“The trajectories of these simulated water particles form a series of lines, which will in turn create waterfalls and vortex all along the walls and ceiling of this space.”

Alongside this new piece, the exhibition at Amos Rex includes several works that have been recreated especially for the spaces of the gallery, including a work called Graffiti Nature: Lost, Immersed and Reborn.

This multi-room installation is an interactive display of animals and flowers. The animals, which are projected on the floor and ceiling and reflected in mirrors, move around the space in response to the movement of visitors. They also explode when touched.

“Flowers will bloom if you stand still, but will disperse if you walk around,” continued TeamLab. “Butterflies increase in places where there are flowers, and crocodiles die if they are stepped on too much.”

During the exhibition, visitors will be able to draw animals that will be scanned and added to the installation.

Alongside these installations are two other large-scale artworks: Crows are Chased and the Chasing Crows are Destined to be Chased as well, Transcending Space and Black Waves.

A further work called Enso, which depicts the movement of a single brush stroke, will be on display in the entrance hall of the gallery.

Earlier this year TeamLab created an installation of interactive waves at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia as part of the NGV Triennial. The collective also recently filled a park in Japan with several digital installations, including a waterfall and a school of virtual koi carp.

TeamLab: Massless is on show from 30 August 2018 until 6 January 2019 at Amos Rex in Helsinki.

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