Throwback Thursday: Shrine Illuminations

Although I’ve already written about one illumination event that I went to, I thought I’d write my experience of another one as around Bonfire Night (5th November) there was an illumination by teamLab at Usa Shrine, the shrine I talked about visiting before.

teamLab is an art collective formed in 2001, and is made up of people working in various disciplines – such as artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and arhitects. These people come together to create beautiful works of digital art with a focus on light and nature. Going to a teamLab event isn’t like visiting an art exhibit, it’s like an experience all of its own.

Their works form part of the permanent gallery of numerous museums, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Asia Society Museum, New York; the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection, Istanbul, and Amos Rex of Helsinki, Finland.

When we walked into the shrine complex, there were coloured lights everywhere, and a gentle, calm but atmospheric soundtrack. It was beautiful, and even though there were quite a lot of people there, it still felt relaxing.

The only problem we had was that for some reason, despite there having been a shuttle bus running especially for the event to take us from the train station to the shrine, when the event actually ended for the night, there was no more shuttle bus. We tried to go to a nearby taxi rank but there was no-one there either, taxi driver or reception desk staff.

We tried asking one of the volunteer traffic wardens how we could get back to the station (it was too far to walk) and he tried his best to help us and even booked us a taxi, but after half an hour or so and the taxi still hadn’t arrived despite saying it was 5-10 mins away, we were beginning to get worried we’d miss the last train. Whether it was because I’d been chatting to him in Japanese the whole time we were waiting for the taxi to arrive or whether he just felt sorry for us, in the end he offered to drive us to the train station himself! So thanks to the kindness of this volunteer we caught the last train just in time.

I hope if you’re reading this and haven’t had the opportunity to go to a teamLab event yet, that you’ll get to at least once in your lifetime! It’s such a wonderful experience~




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