22. May 2015

Digital, interactive paddy field generates moments of magic

Installation und Photos: teamLab

The multidisciplinary design studio teamLab have designed an art installation entitled “Harmony” for Expo 2015 in Milan/I. The installation is part of the Japanese Pavilion, which focuses on the harmonious diversity of the earth and of Japanese food. The Pavilion comprises eight projects altogether: besides Harmony, teamLab also realised a project entitled “Diversity”. Harmony celebrates irrigated paddy fields in Japan, which are regarded as a gift to mankind. Visitors to the installation wade through an interactive immersive projection space gathering information about Japanese food and accompanied by a backdrop of natural sounds.

In order to demonstrate that paddy fields have prospered in places with differing heights, as well as through the harmonious relationship between humans and nature, the exhibition space has been filled with horizontally aligned circular screens resembling ears of rice. These screens are installed at different heights, from the knees up to the waist, creating an interactive projection space that appears to spread out infinitely at various heights and in different directions. Six motion detectors located throughout the space record movement in the space; the projected images change according to the movements of visitors as they wander through the room. The projections show how the paddy fields change over the seasons: sometimes they appear to be flooded and sparkling fish weave their way among the glowing ears of rice. Luminous images of field hands, birds and boats are reflected in the mirrored wall surfaces.

The traditional food of Japan is based on rice, and irrigated paddy fields occupy over half of the arable land in Japan. Like its natural counterpart, the digital video projection radiates a wonderful feeling of calm and an element of magical charm.


HARMONY, Japan Pavilion, Expo Milano 2015 from teamLab on Vimeo.

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