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teamLab is Opening its First “Immersive Club Experience” in Shanghai

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Digital art collective teamLab, who specialize in Instagram-friendly light installations and interactive exhibits, have revealed preliminary details behind their forthcoming immersive club experience “Master,” a brand new nightlife project that will set up shop in Shanghai.

The project comes after the Japanese collective’s collaboration with Chinese company NetEase’s electronic music brand, Fever. Together, they put on a series of “immersive electronic music experiences” at teamLab’s dedicated space in Shanghai, featuring a series of EDM DJs and producers among the lights at the end of July and beginning of August. 

Master is set to feature something teamLab calls Shower³, an experience where 3D objects “wrap around the body of the people in the space.” In many ways, it feels like the natural next step in the convergence of technologies such as 3D mapping with live music and clubbing experiences, though the new project comes with plenty of hyperbole (they’re calling it a “new social entertainment model,” for example). 

Well-known for their innovative interactive exhibitions, teamLab integrate technology, science and art to “explore the relationship between the self and the world and new perceptions.” Specifically, the group focuses on borders — or the transcendence of them — in understanding this relationship. Their physical exhibits often lack traditional partitions between viewers and art, and between individual works. 

teamLab is no newcomer to the world of digital art. In 2018, they established their first digital art museum: The Mori Building Digital Art Museum: teamLab Borderless. Artwork moves freely throughout the 10,000 square meter museum, with moving digital images creating unique experiences from room to room. 

teamLab’s art has been well-received. In its first year of opening, the Tokyo-based teamLab museum broke the record for visitors to a single-artist museum in one year with an astounding 2.3 million guests. The appeal of the space is multifaceted: selfie-optimized exhibits have drawn would-be influencers and major celebrities alike (just ask Kim and Kanye). But more importantly, the exhibitions use digital media to make people feel more physically connected to the world, a unique twist on the traditional impact of life online. 

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The collective is well established in Shanghai. They’ve hosted smaller projects throughout the city, and opened a second teamLab Borderless museum there in 2019. 

Master will be housed in TX Huaihai, a space whose stated aim is to draw youth out of the virtual world and back into brick-and-mortar experiences — Master, it seems, will fit the bill perfectly.

Beyond this, available details surrounding Master are vague at best. But given teamLab’s impressive vision and track record — not to mention enormous appeal within China — the project looks set to draw a big crowd for its tentative October opening date.

Lakshmi Iyengar
    Lakshmi Iyengar is a Yenching Scholar studying health, economics, and modern China. Before moving to Beijing, she majored in Biomedical Engineering at Yale. Follow her on twitter @vlakshmiiyengar for insights on China and life