Living Digital Space

13 / 21


Flower and Corpse Glitch Set of 12

This animation work is based on the concept of what teamLab has coined Ultra Subjective Space. The work consists of 12 film stories based on the themes of civilization and nature, collision, circulation, symbiosis. The surface of Flower and Corpse Glitch Set of 12 disintegrates to reveal the hidden underside of the animation.

teamLab believes that traditional “flat” Japanese painting has a different spatial logic to that of Western perspective. teamLab calls this logic “Ultra Subjective Space.” First, teamLab constructs 3-D objects, in an artificial 3-D space, which become part of the virtual story. Then, in order to give the work the appearance of a traditional Japanese artwork, the 3-D animation is flattened in line with what teamLab considers the logical structure of spatial awareness of traditional Japanese art. In its final stage, the surface of the work peels away to reveal the 3-D space in the production process of the work.

The theme of this work is the age of myth, civilization and nature, collision, circulation, symbiosis.

Yamata no Orochi is a legendary creature from the “Chronicles of Japan: A Record of Ancient Matters.” He has 8 heads and 8 tails, his eyes are bright red, he has moss and trees growing on his back, his stomach is inflamed with blood, and it is said that his body is big enough to cross 8 valleys and 8 peaks. The inflammation of Yamata no Orochi’s stomach with blood is thought to be symbolic of a river that has become murky or polluted with iron. The making of iron required the felling of large trees, which in turn caused flooding.

Concept of Flower and Corpse Glitch Set of 12
This animation is one of a series of works based on the concept “Ultra Subjective Space.” By pealing away the surface of the work, teamLab reveals the 3-D space of the production process.

Through an abstract digital structural mesh, the computer creates the semblance of virtual objects and characters in three dimensions. When the digital surface is stripped away, the three dimensional mesh becomes apparent. Through this process of stripping down the image, teamLab wishes to reveal the concept of Ultra Subjective Space. Even though this work looks like a traditional Japanese painting on the surface, its underlying framework is built from a totally different concept using technology. This process reaffirms that new cultural developments, even in today’s information society, are born from a continuation of culture, even if at first glance these seem to have emerged from the most recent times.

  • 1: Capital City & Noble
    The capital city in all its wondrous glory. The noble, Hikaru Genji, is living amongst brilliant colors.
  • 2: Disaster & Prosperity
    An evil disease spreads throughout the capital. In order to discover the cause of the evil disease, Hikaru Genji follows the disease and embarks on a journey outside of the city.
  • 3: Mountain People & Festival
    Hikaru Genji follows the disease and ends up in a mountain village. To celebrate the blessings of nature, the village holds a festival.
  • 4: Daily Life & Forest
    The village festival is over and the village returns to quotidien life. Even under the influence of the evil disease the people bravely live on. While receiving the benefits of nature people live in abundance and civilization develops by cutting down the trees.
  • 5: The Spirit Tree & Yamata no Orochi
    The mountain village is asked to provide a lot of timber to further develop the city. The villagers cut down a large tree deep within the mountains. When the sacred tree is downed, suddenly, Yamata no Orochi appears from the fallen tree. Yamata no Orochi is furious with rage and causes heavy rain and flooding in the valley.
  • 6: Yamata no Orochi & The Gods of the Forest
    Yamata no Orochi knocks down the houses of the mountain village. Following the rampage of Yamata no Orochi, the gods of the forest appear and begin to attack the people one after the other.
  • 7: Weapons & Battlefield
    The mountain villagers ask the samurai to come to the mountain village, and a battle between the warriors, the gods of the forest and Yamata no Orochi begins.
  • 8: Destruction & Victory
    After a fierce battle, the warriors make use of the developments of civilization, such as flaming arrows and swords. Eventually the samurai warriors begin to be victorious.
  • 9: Hunger & Wasteland
    After the battle, the burned-out forest is a wasteland. The benefits of nature are lost and the mountain village suffers hunger and despair.
  • 10: Flower & Corpse
    Hikaru Genji is surrounded by the dead bodies of the gods of the forest and Yamata no Orochi. Desparate, he spreads seeds over the corpse of Yamata no Orochi. Then, from the dead corpse, buds appear and numerous flowers bloom. The flowers grow over the trees and the forest is gradually restored.
  • 11: Festival & Forest
    The people of the mountain begin once again to reap the benefits of the forest and civilization is restored. The people of the village are determined to go on and live in harmony with the forest and the festival is once again held.
  • 12: City & Festival
    The evil disease subsides in the capital city. The people still do not know the cause of the disease, but they carry out a festival of thanks at this auspicious change of fortune.

Other Works