You can smell, you can hear, you can see, you can touch; everything but taste–unless you go for one of the cotton candies right before the exit door. I’m talking about the “teamLab: Dance! Art Exhibition, Learn & Play! Future Park” exhibition at OCT Harbour in Shenzhen.
Getting there from campus might take about an hour, but it is worth the visit – and experience! Because that’s all this exhibition is about: experiencing.
Before you set off, make sure you bring your student ID card (note: not your yellow Ping An Card!) with you to get the discounted student ticket. You can take the metro either to Shenzhen Bay Park Station on line 9 or Qiaocheng East station on line 1. If you have not explored the area, I recommend the latter as it allows for a pleasant bike ride and a quick stopover in OCT Loft for a coffee.
After parking my Ofo in a designated area, yes of course because I am the good type of bikeshare rider, I headed to the ticket office where I was greeted by a very friendly and patient cashier who waited until I found my wallet. Since I was already low on RMB I decided to pay with my credit card. Yes, they take international cards (Visa and Mastercard).
The line wasn’t very long which made me think that perhaps the exhibition would not be worthy. But I learned later that it was because they kept it moving quite fast. While in line I met Sofia, an international student at Shanghai’s Donghua University which set off a good conversation since I had lived in Shanghai as well. We decided to view the exhibition together.
Upon entering the exhibition, you will find yourself submerged in a sea of hanging lamps. Such feeling is heightened by the fact that the walls, floor and ceiling are all covered with mirrors. My immediate thought about these lamps was a new take on the traditional Chinese hanging lamps.
We stuck around to take pictures and were enthralled by the ever-changing colors of the lamps. After a few minutes, we decided to leave the room and move on to the next. We saw an exit sign and were struck with fear that the lamps were the sole exhibit. But don’t worry; there is enough to keep you busy for even two hours. Even more so if you bring children along, as there are many activities for the little ones to enjoy. But you also do not need to be a kid to join in on the fun and play with the holographic trains that change directions whenever presented with an obstacle.
“I had been to a very interactive light art exhibition in Shanghai earlier this year by the West Bund, but this exhibition by teamLab is even more interactive,” Sofia noted later after exiting the exhibition. “This exhibition truly involves a lot of your senses, even the sense of smell which is generally a forgotten one.”
When asked what her favorite part of the exhibition was she said, “I think that the section of the kids drawing is what caught my attention the most. It helps them view art in a fun way at a young age, and that it can be transformed on a larger scale–not just on a piece of paper. It is a way to see how technology can complement art, and as technology advances there are more possibilities to incorporate it.”
By this Sofia referenced the Sketch Aquarium where kids (and adults!) would be given empty coloring sheets with sea animals to color in whichever way they wanted. Afterward, the pieces will be scanned and projected as if floating in the ‘aquarium’ on the wall. But the fun did not end there! To keep their sea animal alive, guests had to find the bag with food in the aquarium and feed it to their creation.
In a way, you are creating your own art out of this exhibition. You become a part of it. And what is most interesting is that despite thousands of pictures taken at the same place, each will be different from the last.
If you want to experience this unique exhibition which was awarded as one of the “Top 10 Art Exhibitions of 2015”, you need to hurry! The exhibition ends on November 30th. Highly recommended for stress relief from final exams as a reward for the good work done!
Venue: OCT Harbour-OCT Creative Exhibition Center
OCT Bay, No. 8 Baishi Road East, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Note: If using Didi Chuxing, typing “TEAMLAB” in the destination will get you there!
Regular entrance fee (weekdays): 199 yuan
Regular entrance fee (weekend and holidays): 229 yuan
Student and children entrance fee: 160 yuan
To learn more about this exhibition, see their official website here: https://www.teamlab.art/e/shenzhen/