A Taste of Japan: Immersive Animated Restaurant Shifts with the Seasons

The exclusive experience of dining at this Tokyo restaurant,
which serves just eight patrons a day, is not really about the
food – though Saga Beef restaurant Sagaya-Ginza is not
necessarily lacking in quality. It’s just that watching nature
spring to life all around you, cycling through the seasons to
represent some of Japan’s most striking natural beauty, tends
to eclipse whatever’s on your plate. Art collective teamLab,
known for their creative projection-based installations,
created a multi-sensory immersive experience with ‘Worlds Unleashed and Then
Connecting.’



In classic teamLab form, this projection is not just immersive,
but also interactive, responding to the dishes as they’re
placed on the table as well as movements of the diners and
servers. While other well-known works by the collective tend to
unfold within a larger space, like a warehouse or gallery, this
installation is private and intimate.





“When a dish is placed on the table, the world contained within
the dish is unleashed, unfolding onto the table and into the
surrounding space,” the artists explain. “The worlds unleashed
from each dish connect in the external space creating a new
larger world. The worlds unleashed are affected by the other
dishes on the table.”




“For example, a bird unleashed from one dish can perch on the
branch of a tree unleashed from another. The trees that grow
from each dish are not identical; their sizes and shapes are
affected by the worlds unleashed by the other dishes on the
table. These unleashed worlds are also affected by your
behavior. If you stand still, a tiny bird might alight on your
hand; if you move suddenly, it might fly away. The worlds
unleashed from the dishes on the table influence each other,
react to the actions of the visitors, and combine to create one
single continuous world. The world is constantly changing from
moment to moment and no two moments are alike.”

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