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Let’s imagine to walk through a wonderful upside-down world, where flowers and plants grow top-down and literally surround you with their colours and scent. Each flower is matched with its companion, a bug whose activity can considerably intensify the fragrance emanated by the petals, depending on the time of the day.
Now let’s go one step further and imagine that flowers - specifically orchids - respond to you passing through by slowly coming down from above and enveloping you with their magical presence, like an hemisphere developing just around you. And finally, a delicate music, almost angelic, lightly transport you to an intimate and delicate dimension.
It could be the perfect introduction for one of those relaxing techniques which are so popular nowadays, but actually what I have just described is a real dream; where real means that you can touch it with your hand.
This dreamlike vision took shape in 2015, thanks to the creativity of Team Lab, a group of Japanese artists who abundantly use modern digital techniques.
In fact, the impressive flowers dance is created by special motion sensors which allow the suspended garden to interact with the visitor. Orchids breathe, grow and blossom while suspended, they don’t need the ground to live since their roots can absorb water and nourishment independently: even the humidity in the air can be enough for them.
Presented at the Mirakain Museum in Tokyo and then later at the last Maison&Object in Paris, this artwork today is still enjoyable as a permanent exhibition by Team Lab, a call for us to approach nature as the natural beings we are ourselves, and to recognize ourselves as elements of a consistent and living system. This is why the title of the installation is Flowers and I are of the same Root, the Garden and I are One.
The inspiration for this floating fairytale made of no less than 2,300 orchids comes from an ancient zen story, Nansen’s Flower, in which a simple flower becomes an opportunity to reaffirm how all things are part of the same essence.
The real value of contemporary art is often discusses, and most of the time the discussion is blocked by the impossibility to define what is art and what isn’t. There are countless opinions on the subject, but in my opinion it’s very important the difference between art seen as pure provocation and art conceived as a mean to communicate hidden, repressed or forgotten needs.
Team Lab’s work is an example of this second vision of art. By evoking our deepest emotions, the floating garden restates the importance of respecting nature and its principles, and it delivers this message through beautiful shapes, warming our hearts and satisfying our senses.
And then why not copying at home, in a smaller version, the work of the Japanese artists? Moreover, if we don’t have much space available, a suspended garden is an ideal and effective solution.
To create a green corner inside our home doesn’t only mean to have some oxygen and a beautiful view in our living room. The mental and physical benefits deriving from a constant relationship between man and nature have been proven. The presence of green elements in our everyday life lowers our stress level and enhances the immune and endocrine systems. Not to mention the air-purifying function which is useful in every home to eliminate the unhealthy effect of some varnishes or materials which are sold on the market as completely safe.
Let’s put as many flowers and plants as we can in our apartment then, also adopting unexpected and original solutions, because you never know: one day, any corner of the house could become that pinch of happiness we need in our day.