Photo: Katheryn Gronauer
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New teamLab exhibition in Kochi features interactive art and a 400-year-old castle

By Katheryn Gronauer

Kochi City has partnered with teamLab, an art collective famous for its museum, teamLab Borderless, to produce a unique interactive art experience at 400-year-old Kochi Castle.

The exhibition is open in the evenings and features outdoor interactive-art, transforming this historical site into a captivating, sophisticated playground. This is likely the only historical site in the world where art can also be experienced.

Photo: Katheryn Gronauer

“The concept [of our Digitized City art project] is that a city can become a piece of artwork without physically altering the city itself,“ said Keisuke Shimoyama of teamLab. “We kept Kochi Castle as Kochi Castle while creating an interactive art space, enhancing the relationship between humans, art, and nature.”

Kochi Castle is one of 12 remaining Japanese castles that has survived centuries of wars and natural disasters. It is a Japanese “important cultural asset” as it is the only castle where nearly all of the structure remains intact.

Photo: Katheryn Gronauer

Visitors entering the base of the property will be mesmerized by colorful neon lights and fantastical music. The lights continuously change colors, casting a glow on the castle walls and changing the mood of the atmosphere as they proceed up the walkway. People are free to wander around the exhibition without any designated path as the art is displayed on both the front and back sides of the castle.

Photo: Floating, Resonating Spheres (teamLab, 2015, Interactive Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi)

From the gates all the way to the top of the castle tower are eight different interactive art experiences, from large, egg-like “ovoids” to ocean waves dancing on 400-year old fusuma sliding doors.

Photo: Katheryn Gronauer

Most museums won’t allow you to touch art, but here the objects are intended to be touched; every touch changes the color of the ovoids and spheres and sends a ripple effect of colors and sounds to other objects in the area, traveling all the way up to the top of the castle. The more people gathered in one space touching the objects, the more the colors will change as if one is communicating through the art with other visitors.

Photo: Katheryn Gronauer

Once guests have reached the castle, they can walk through the structure to see the living quarters of lords from the Edo-period, and the lookout point from the top of the tower. At the top of the castle, look down at the breathtaking city skyline sprinkled with the lights of the art pieces, below.

Only a one-hour plane ride from Tokyo, this exhibition brings an exclusive experience that combines history, art, nature, and activity all in one spot. There’s something for everyone and would be perfect for a date, a family outing with young children, or even a solo adventure.

Event Details

Exhibition: teamLab: Digitized Kochi Castle

Dates: November 8, 2019 - January 13, 2020

Hours: 17:30 – 21:30 (Last entry 21:00)

Address: Kochi Castle, Kochi Park, Marunouchi 1-2-1, Kochi City, Kochi

Access: The castle is a 15-minute drive from Kochi Interchange or a 10-minute drive from JR Kochi Station. On foot, the castle is a 3-minute walk from Kochijomae station on the Tosaden Kotsu tram line.

Ticket Information:

Exhibition tickets are 1,100 yen for adults, 900 yen for students between ages 13-17, and 500 yen for students ages 6-12. Castle tower admission rates are 400 yen for adults. High school students and younger may enter the castle tower with their exhibition ticket. The exhibition and castle tower admissions are free for children under 5 years old.

For English information on tour, click here.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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