Japan's teamLab creates steamy digital art experience

Japan’s teamLab collective of engineers, artists and architects, have created a unique, and from all accounts, exciting multi sauna digital experience lit up in hues of red, green and yellow. Among other visual treats, butterflies grace the atmosphere around a screen of water particles. This is digital art in a giant tent in Roppongi district and includes three immersive art installations.

“Art is traditionally exhibited in luxurious places like palaces or museums - we wanted to create a luxurious state of mind for people to experience it,” said Takashi Kudo, a teamLab lab member.

“TikTok teamLab Reconnect” is priced at $44 on weekdays and $53 on weekends. Visitors can grace the hot rooms and cold showers, and walk inside the immersive artworks sporting only swimming costumes.

Unfortunately Covid means seating in the biggest saunas was reduced from 24 to 12 and ventilation was altered to meet government guidelines for air circulation.

Other digital goodies include dozens of large, hand-blown glass lamps from Italy. The lamps slowly changed colours from burnt orange to magenta, illuminating dark corridors that separate the rooms.

The team said it wanted to stimulate all senses, including touch, sound and smell. Aromas such as roasted green tea waft through one of the saunas, and white birch in another.

“Nobody goes to an art museum in this fashion because art is art and sauna is sauna,” said one organiser, indicating his swimming trunks. “What we wanted to try is to combine and offer a very different experience - and a very different experience of this art.”