The Art Newspaper reports on teamLab’s new exhibit, Continuity, at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco
“The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco opens its pandemic-delayed $38m expansion by the architect Kulapat Yantrasast this Friday (23 July) with Continuity, a new immersive exhibition by the Japanese art collective teamLab. During an early walkthrough The Art Newspaper took of the addition, the installation’s visuals were being tweaked on a laptop by Adam Booth, the collective’s art director of computer graphics. Around the gallery, projections of flowers and butterflies were falling and flying. When told the experience was all a bit disorienting, Booth said with a soft smile, “That’s the idea.”
The museum’s director Jay Xu saw teamLab’s work during a visit to Japan about seven years ago, and thought it would be an ideal way to launch the museum building’s new addition. The Asian Art Museum became the first American institution to acquire a work by teamLab, according to Robert Mintz, the museum’s deputy director for art and programmes, and it now owns two, Cold Life and Life Survives by the Power of Life. The solo show stitches together about ten different works, with projections on the gallery walls and floors. Some components are interactive, such as digital flowers growing around your feet.
This all fits into Yantrasast’s mission for the expansion, which he sees as “a dynamic balance of the rejuvenation of the historic Public Library building with the programmes and activities of the core collection, as well as the addition of contemporary art and technological experiences in the museum,” he says. The addition adds a total of 15,000 sq ft of space across two levels. The main gallery, the Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Pavilion, is one large column-free 8,500 sq ft space meant to offer maximum flexibility for exhibitions and programming. On top of that is the East West Bank Art Terrace, a rooftop sculpture garden currently featuring Ai Weiwei’s Fountain of Light…”
-Scarlet Cheng, The Art Newspaper