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50,000 Lights Turn a Giant Japanese Forest into a Glowing Wonderland

A digital waterfall, interactive lily pond, and illuminated cherry blossoms are coming to the Japanese countryside in an ambitious new project from teamLab.

Beckett Mufson

Beckett Mufson

Images courtesy teamLab

A massive park in rural Japan will host six stunning light installations by digital art collective teamLab, transforming trees, lakes, and rocks into interactive art pieces all collectively called A Forest Where Gods Live. Custom-tailored to the impressive features of Kyushu island's Mifuneyama Rakuen park, each piece is part of teamLab's ongoing mission to use digital art to make nature more accessible to a tech-focused audience.

teamLab frequently brings nature motifs into corporate environments and art galleries, creating stunning juxtapositions between the natural and the artificial. A Forest Where Gods Live uses computer-generated visuals to map digital versions of the elements onto their real life counterparts.

The works, which range from a disembodied digital waterfall to a procedurally-generated koi pond, will dominate the park from July 14 to October 9, 2017. Check out the installations that will be on display, below:

Universe of Water Particles on a Rock in which Resides a God

This installation in the Inari Daimyojin Shrine projects a waterfall, controlled by an algorithm that simulates actual water flow, onto a 10' tall by 15' wide rock.

Drawing on the Water Surface with Lotus Flowers, Created by the Dance of Koi and Small Boats

Each koi and lotus flower projected onto Mifuneyama Rakuen Pond reacts to the other koi and lotus flowers, which are digital, as well as the physical rowboats pictured above. When a boat passes, the koi disperse as if fleeing a predator.

Graffiti Nature - Creatures Living in Ruins of a Public Bathhouse

The latest in teamLab's Graffiti Nature series, an abandoned public bath hosts animals drawn by guests which eat each other and propagate according to an algorithm. Visitors can also interfere with the circle of life—animals stepped on too often will die, just like in real life. Thus the same food chain is never seen twice.

Enso of Split Rock Maple

In a piece descended from one of teamLab's earliest projects, Spatial Calligraphy, a nine-foot-tall rock crowned by a living tree is the canvas for an illuminated Zen calligraphic enso circle.

Resonating Forest with Summer Cherry Blossoms and Summer Maple

Each tree in this grove has its own colored light, which transforms like a chameleon as visitors pass. One tree's light will be noticed by the next's, so people's movements ripple throughout the grove like a pebble plunged into a pond.

Resonating Azalea Valley

Similar to the Resonating Forest, Resonating Azalea Valley plunges visitors into a light show that reacts to their steps, sending new lights and colors surging outward as they pass.

See more of teamLab's work on their website.

Related:

Float in a Digital Waterfall at teamLab's New Exhibit in London

9 Coordinated Spotlight Performances Illuminate Sublime Geometry

A River of Light Flowers Springs to Life in Japan