- 4 min read

TeamLab★Forest Fukuoka

An interactive digital art exhibition in Fukuoka

If you do not already know, teamLab is an art collective that specializes in digital art, usually involving projection and different form of interaction. They already have exhibitions in Tokyo that is almost on everyone’s itinerary to Japan, but if your plan includes visiting Fukuoka, I would highly recommend to add it to your itinerary.

Knowing how the exhibition is popular in Tokyo, I did not want to take a chance and booked my ticket online, regardless, it just make things faster as I did not had to line up at the only self service ticket machine. My ticket was for the 11 to 11:30 time slot, that is the first of the day. As I got her about 20 minutes in advance, I was in one of the first group to enter.

As a disclaimer, the first area of he exhibition is interactive with augmented reality, so make sure to bring your phone fully charged and/or bring a battery pack. The app used is called "Catching and Collecting Forest", you can either download it in advance or connect to the exhibition wifi and download it before entering. Second disclaimer, three of the seven area are not suited for pregnant women, person with small children and persons with mobility issue, while six of the seven area are not suited if you wear high heels or sandals (but the have rental option) or wheelchair users.

The first area is a big room divided by walls, some of them are mirrors and make the whole place feel much bigger, where different scenery are projected on the walls and on the floor. In the forest and sea scenery, there is animals roaming and you can use the app to catch and release them. It might take a while if you want to catch all the 59 species, I personally got 37. Also the more you catch the same specie, the more information the app will give, but the text is all in Japanese. Tip, for the arrow, hold it and it will show in the corner what you can catch if you shoot and the net, you place it on the ground and you can then walk after the animals that will get away from you and with some luck, in your net. Once you got enough animals, that you obviously all released, you can move to the other areas.

The second area is a room covered in half sphere that are all illuminated and that react when you bump them, he third got an inclined and bouncy floor with projection that will get away from you as you walk in. Then the fifth area is different obstacle course to cross a gap, each step potentially triggering lights. The sixth area is a large room with uneven floor and animals roaming in the room, but this time you cannot catch them, it also contain a mirror corridor to the last area that is full of illuminated balloon. One you are done, you can do the loop of area 2 to 7 once again. You should expect it to take at least an hour if not more depending on how many animals you want to catch and how many times you want to redo the loop. While there was a line of 50-60 people before it opened, the place did not feel crowded and there was no real wait to move from the different area, especially the smaller ones that are for one group at the time.

From the image I have seen of the their other exhibitions, I think that Forest have it’s own unique features. I must say that now I understand why most people going to Japan include one, or more, of the teamLab exhibition. I absolutely not regret my experience.

Getting there

Located at 15 minutes walk from Tojinmachi subway station.

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