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Inheritance of Shanghai Expo; teamLab museum goes further
By:Zheng Qian  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2020-05-12 17:03

Lush flowers float around and slopes are permeated with water vapor. When you step into the “waterfall”, the water flowsaround your body and flowers even bloom at your feet. Wandering in this alluring scene, youcan’t helpclosingyour eyes and deeply breathingthe Spring flavour.

However, this is not the real world. All is created by the digital technology of light and shadow. At the breezy Huangpu River side, teamLab Borderless Art Museum, the world’s second such one in the Shanghai Expo Park, presents this borderless interpretation of nature featuringwind, flowers, birds and trees.

Settling in UBPA, a perfect choice

Consistentwith the green concept of the Urban Best Practice Area (UBPA), where the museum is located,nature is the eternal theme it explores. Aharmonious relationship between man and nature has been perfectly interpreted here.

From the traditional industrial gathering place marked by the Nanshi Power Plant to a showcase of the world’s low-carbon and eco-friendly construction, and then to its remodelling in the post-Expo era, UBPA bears a strong historical and cultural heritage. It is due to this cultural temperament that the teamLab Art Museum chose to settle here.

According to Wang Dongjie, deputy general manager of the teamLab Borderless Art Museum in Shanghai, settling in UBPA, which is near to the city center in the north and close to the Huangpu river in the south, makes the museum lie in downtown but notina bustling area. The low-density building layout in UBPA also brings people a sense of tranquility and comfort. Besides, the commendable cultural and creative industry cluster area has formed a creative industry ecology with a synergistic effect, which can further enhance the artistic and cultural atmosphere of the museum.

In Wang Dongjie's view, UBPA can be described as a pearl at the Huangpu River. As a pioneering creation in the history of the World Expo, UBPA has been highly praised since its birth. In the 3.28-square-kilometer Expo Park, UBPAcovers an area of about 15 hectares with several city halls embodied with advanced science and technology and urban culture. Whether it was a traditional industrial gathering place, or the exhibition area of World Expo highlights, or today'svibrant block, the charm here has never been lost.

Inheritance and innovation of Expo

Completely preservingthe historical context of the block and effectively usingthe existing buildings are an important philosophy in the sustainable development of UBPA. Looking around, the well-preserved gigantic industrial truss complements the renovated modern buildings.

Wang Dongjie introduced that Shanghai ’s teamLab BorderlessArt Museum is China’s first permanent teamLab pavilion introduced from Tokyo. About 50 artworksdesigned by teamLab, a Japanese interdisciplinary team, are exhibitedin a space of 6,600 square meters. The Shanghai onehas the same name astheOdaibaone, which is the first permanent exhibition hall of teamLab.

Previouslya catering facility for the Shanghai Expo, the pavilion was preferred by the teamLab team for its exhibition due to its integrity, height and size. On the basis of retaining the arc structure of the original venue, the teamLab team dida lot of innovative treatments when designing the work spaces. In addition, the entire UBPAuses a river water source air conditioning system, which greatly reduces the necessary energy consumption of the museum in cooling a large number of projectors and workstation equipment.

Atthe intangible conceptual level, the museum is also an inheritance of the Expo. The aim of the museum,to provide high-quality cultural tourism products,resonates with “Better city, Better life”. In MrWang’s opinion, most products in China's cultural tourism market today arescenic products, but not IP contents, which teamLab museum is creating.

Exploringcombination of aesthetics and philosophy

"In a livable and employment-friendly city, cultural spaces and high-quality cultural products must be an indispensable experience for citizens. This is what we have always been pursuing. Benchmarking Tokyo and introducing teamLab cultural products to first-tier cities like Shanghai, we have also achieved a good market response.”Mr. Wang revealed that before the novel coronavirus outbreak, the museum wouldreceive an average of 2,000 visitors per day and a maximum of 3,000 visitors on weekends, of which foreign tourists accountedfor 15%-20%. As the epidemic in China has beenbrought under control, the number of visitors to the museum is gradually picking up.

Mr. Wang admitted that setting up a large-scale teamLab art gallery in Shanghai was a new challenge for his team, but the popularity of the museum here makes them more confident about their logic of deploying high-quality cultural tourism products in domestic high-quality tourist destinations.

In the future, more museums will be deployed in other first-tier cities. And in Shanghai, they are considering bringing the aesthetics and philosophy the museum conveys to more spaces and people, such as middle school students.