Digital Art Garden / Tokyo Midtown
Digital Art Garden
Tokyo Midtown|2018

Digital Art Garden
Tokyo Midtown|2018

How to enjoy the cool, even in the midsummer heat?
This project revisited Japan’s traditional approaches to cooling down in the summer, paying homage to customs that arose out of the Japanese sensibility, and reconfiguring them into a contemporary art experience. The Japanese of past centuries savored the summer – without relying on air conditioning – by exploiting the possibilities offered by their five senses. Sunsets, traditional gardens, the engawa (terrace surrounding a Japanese house), sprinkling water, cool breezes – these are elements that have always been associated with the Japanese summer. All these elements were brought together at the work’s site in Tokyo Midtown – in keeping with the complex’s aim “to offer the most pleasant space in central Tokyo” – with added dynamism and entertainment factor. Visitors immersed themselves in this space in the middle of the city, which somehow fused nostalgia and novelty, and took in the invigorating ryo – the Japanese notion of coolness that is soaked up through all five senses, regardless of what the actual temperature might be.

This project was the theme of this joint project between Hakuten, a creative agency that specializes in producing real live experiences, and Tokyo-based visual design studio WOW inc.


About the Exhibition
The theme of “staying cool in the Japanese summer”
Roppongi is an area in the heart of Tokyo, which is always full of life and packed with a diversity of people. Our task was to design a spot in this area that would offer a new way to enjoy the summer. We approached this task by focusing on the rich traditional sensibility of the Japanese, which seeks ways to appreciate even the sweltering summer heat as fuzei, as part of the scenic ambiance.

Sitting on the engawa* facing the garden to listen to the insects, to watch the fireworks, to spend summer evenings with those near and dear. The challenge was to reconfigure these quintessential elements of the Japanese summer into something fresh and contemporary, creating a whole new seasonal sight.

The setting was a spacious lawn in the heart of the city, measuring over 2,000 square meters. On this lawn we set up a large rectangular engawa, 20 by 40 meters, to serve as a stage and a frame. We filled this space with mist that changed from moment to moment, creating sights that each lasted but a moment.
And finally, there was a digital lighting system showing fireworks, comprised of around 6,000 LEDs.

Visitors relaxed on this engawa, watching the image of Japanese summer unfold beneath their feet, and experienced the summer coolness. The elemental, ever-transforming mist and the digitalized lights of the fireworks produced together a sight of which eye could not tire. Blending in with the summer evening, the work offered visitors an experience that refreshed both their minds and bodies amid the heat.

*The engawa is an architectural feature distinctive to traditional Japanese houses. It is an intermediary space between indoors and outdoors, and a place that is almost emblematic of a good life, where one can sit and take in the outdoor ambiance or chat with loved ones.


Credits
WOW
Creative Director:Kosuke Oho
Director / Designer:Tatsuki Kondo
Music Composer:Masato Hatanaka
Producer:Shinichi Saeki

HAKUTEN
Creative Director:Isao Kuwana
Planner:Daisuke Masaki
Space Designer : Ryukei Aoyagi
Construction Manager:Yosuke Ono / Tohru Kawakami
Producer:Yuta Saito / Naoyuki Okamoto / Hideki Katada

TOKYO LIGHTING DESIGN
Lighting Director / Designer:Daisuke Yano
Lighting Planner:Akito Aiba
Lighting Planner:Yu Han Chang
Digital Art Garden / Tokyo Midtown
229
3,800
11
Published:

Digital Art Garden / Tokyo Midtown

Digital Art Garden Tokyo Midtown|2018 How to enjoy the cool, even in the midsummer heat? This project revisited Japan’s traditional approaches to Read More
229
3,800
11
Published:

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