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The Way of the Sea, Lost, Immersed and Reborn - Colors of Life

teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

The Way of the Sea, Lost, Immersed and Reborn - Colors of Life

teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

The artwork begins when the shoal of fish from The Way of the Sea enters the world below in teamLab Borderless. When the fish leave the world below, the artwork ends.

The shoal of fish swims freely. People have their own color, and when they touch the fish, the fish are dyed that color.

This work is part of a series called The Way of Birds. “The way of the bird” is a saying in Zen which refers to the fact that unlike a human road, the road of the bird is not fixed. The road of the bird is free, unfettered, and leaves no trace. Here, the birds are replaced with fish.

The movement of thousands or tens of thousands of fish is beautiful and mysterious, like a single giant life form. The shoal of fish has neither a leader nor mutual consensus, but just moves on the simple basis of, “If my neighbor moves, then I move too.” However, the biological mechanism that causes hundreds of fish to move at the same time is still enigmatic. It seems there is a universal principle that human beings do not yet understand. The trails of light drawn in the space have no meaning as a whole. While affected by the presence of people in the space, each fish seems to obey some sort of primitive rule as it moves, drawing lines in the space and unintentionally painting the surfaces with complex and beautiful colors.

The work is rendered in real time by a computer program, it is neither a prerecorded animation nor imagery on loop.The work as a whole is in constant change; previous states will never be repeated and can never be seen again.