Flower & Corpse


30 April 2008

12’ 53”

Founded in 2001 in Tokyo, TEAMLAB is a multi-disciplinary studio which carries out activities across a range of media, from developing web and robot technology to visual arts (installation, video), architecture and spatial design, at the border between those different practices. Typical of their research is Flower & Corpse, a computer-generated 3D animation, which takes its cue from traditional Japanese paintings to reflect upon the way contemporary technology is reshaping our perception of space. Indeed, before adopting western perspective, Japanese painters used to display spatial arrangements while ignoring the existence of depth, and human figures or objects were painted without shadows. In Sumi-e (ink painting), artists painted circles in a single brush stroke to convey a notable sense of depth; in the Yamato-e tradition (Japanese-style painting, from the 9th to the 13th centuries), spatiality was expressed by moving the point of view, regardless of physical distance. Those ancient spatial perceptions have been at the source of TEAMLAB’s contemporary interpretation, positing a conceptual continuum between these ancient means of representation and our current sense of space, as conveyed through the computer screen.