PHYLLIS ODESSEY

total garden immersion

peter's head25 degrees Fahrenheit is not my chosen temperature for walking around a garden, unless that garden happens to be one created by Teamlab, a Japanese design collective of over 200 designers, programmers and scientists.  The current exhibition at Japan Society, Garden of Unearthly Delights features a garden room.  “What you are watching at this moment will never repeat itself forever,” says Ikkan Sanada, an advisor for Team Lab.  “It’s very complicated software’ even TeamLab doesn’t know what will happen. The basic structure, the kind of flowers used and such are already programmed, but in which order and where it happens is very random.”

flower room

closeup corner

person

portrait

The room is interactive, touch the flowers and petals fall of the flowers.  “In the case of a garden that is designed with perspective the eye of the viewer is drawn into the distance.  However, for the ancient Japanese space appeared as layers and so space was designed as layers, movement of the eye was horizontal, there was no concept of a focal point and so there was no specifically designed place from which to view the garden.  It therefore seems that difference in spatial recognition gives birth to differences in special design, and differenc in spatial design changes our way of seeing the world.” from Teamlab website.

In addition, I’ve always wanted to visit Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto, but haven’t made it yet.  Hisashi Tenmyouya has created his own zen garden with a twist at the exhibition.

room

The “rocks” and “sand” (made of fiberglass-reinforced polyester and calcium carbonate, respectively) are embedded with skulls.  According to the signage, the “garden” symbolizes “devastation and unrest.”

skull

skull in rock

You can mediate in this “garden,” as a zen garden is intended to do, but you’re mind might wander to a different place.

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