Crows are chased and the chasing crows are destined to be chased as well, Division in Perspective ‒ Light in Dark

teamLab, 2014, Digital Installation, 4min 20sec(loop), Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

A virtual world constructed in three dimensions on a computer is brought to life in “flattened” moving images, using what we at teamLab consider to be the logical structure of the spatial perception of our Japanese ancestors (what we call “Ultra Subjective Space”).
The Japanese mythical bird “Yatagarasu*”, rendered in light, flies around the space, leaving trails of light in its wake which forms “spatial calligraphy”. The Crows chase and are chased by each other through the air, they become flowers and scatter.

The “Itano Circus” is a unique technique pioneered by Japanese animation and created by animator Ichiro Itano. The screen is packed to capacity with swarms of missiles that are drawn in a completely incorrect perspective (drawn distorted so that the audience will feel a stronger sense of dynamic movement and impact) and fly wildly about the space. Through ultra-high-speed camerawork and through staging that envelops the viewer’s perspective, this technique creates an overwhelmingly beautiful image.

In this digital artwork, as a homage to the “Itano Circus”, we recreated space distortion used in 2D animation in 3D space: this is to explore what sort of logical structure of spatial perception constitutes this distortion of space pioneered by Japan’s animators, and to explore the hypothesis that this is in line with the continuous tradition of Japanese spatial perception. By recreating a distorted space in three dimensions the perspective viewpoint widens, and we have attempted to reconstruct this in actual space. It is also an experiment to see what kind of experience viewers encounter by dividing the viewer’s perspective and by deploying divided perspective into three dimensional space.

Yatagarasu, the three-legged crow, is a creature found in Japanese mythology. It is believed to represent the sun and the will of Heaven.

Back to top

  • Bookmark