what to expect from the new jeddah digital art museum

On the shores of Al Arbaeen Lagoon, overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old City of Jeddah, a new type of museum is taking shape.

The first permanent teamLab Borderless museum in the Middle East opened last month and the project promises a labyrinthine space of more than 50 works of art in sections such as Borderless World, Athletics Forest and Future Park.

Its opening is scheduled for 2023 and an exact date will be announced soon.

Japan’s TeamLab, an international collective established in Tokyo in 2001, is made up of talented people from a variety of industries. They include artists, programmers, computer graphics animators, and mathematicians.

The group is known for embracing digital technology and fostering a symbiotic relationship between art and viewer.

The work responds to multiple sensory stimuli – light, sound and touch. Multi-hop Universefor example, makes visitors spring up on vast flexible floors, their movements directing the flow of light and music around them.

On Hopscotch for geniuses: water bouncemeanwhile, visitors jump on shapes that appear on the ground, triggering the appearance of marine and terrestrial animals or insects.

The group is responsible for museums and permanent exhibitions around the world, in Tokyo, Shanghai and Macao, with others soon to open in Beijing, Hamburg and the Dutch city of Utrecht.

The collective’s works can also be seen in museums from Los Angeles and Istanbul to Adelaide and Helsinki.

They are no strangers to the Gulf region, joining a group exhibition in 2021 as part of Riyadh Art and in 2019 at the Future Investment Initiative event in the Saudi capital.

TeamLab is also present with its Future Park facilities at the OliOli Children’s Museum in Dubai and the Science Center in Salmiya, Kuwait.

Borderless Jeddah will be the collective’s first time rooting in the region, highlighting a growing interest in immersive digital art in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

Similar experiences have been seen in permanent spaces and exhibitions such as Infinity des Lumieres at the Dubai Mall, the Rain Room at the Sharjah Art Foundation and the Theater of Digital Art at Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

Scroll through the gallery below to see inside Dubai Lights Infinity:

TeamLab describes the new project, a collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s Athr Gallery, as “a world of artwork without borders, a museum without a map”.

“We prefer to speak as a collective – no one individual represents the whole collective,” the band said. The National in a report.

“Works of art come out of rooms, communicate with other works, influence each other and, at times, intertwine, without borders,” he said of the Saudi collaboration.

What this description means in practice, for example, is that visitors may see crows flying around one space, but they originated in another.

“As they fly, they affect other artwork, causing flowers to scatter and drop,” the group said.

Although many of the artworks are not new, an installation is planned exclusively for the Jeddah Museum, featuring a 15-meter-high waterfall of golden sand.

“The space is forever transformed as people, flowers, and cascading sands continue to interact with each other,” teamLab said.

Another new artwork to be unveiled at the museum involves a group of giant, flamboyant megaliths that are transformed by people and other artwork.

The museum will also house a section for children, with the aim of inspiring another generation of Saudi talent.

The space has been years in the making. The idea emerged after the Saudi Ministry of Culture visited teamLab Borderless Tokyo in 2018, the year it opened.

The museum welcomed 2.3 million visitors in its first 12 months, including celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Will Smith, and was also named one of Time magazineThe best places in the world 2019.

“After the visit, they reached out to us about a possible collaboration, and conversations started toward project planning,” teamLab said.

“The teamLab Borderless Jeddah project has been in planning and production since 2018. We are thrilled now to be building the museum from the ground up and seeing the project come to life.”

Although the project uses state-of-the-art technology, the concept is steeped in history and cultural heritage, the group said.

“Our work is based on the continuous accumulation of human knowledge over a long history. For this reason, it is very important for teamLab to be able to open the permanent teamLab Borderless in Jeddah, right next to a world cultural heritage site.

“We hope people can move between the seamlessly interconnected past and present and imagine an ideal future.”

Updated: May 30, 2022, 1:30 p.m.

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