Tokyo Travelogue – Tokyo Art City by Naked

Tokyo is never lacking when it comes to impressive art exhibitions at museums, galleries, or even shopping malls, but whenever the design firm Naked comes out with another light-themed artistic display, it’s usually something special. Their latest feat, dedicated to Tokyo itself, is no exception. Tokyo Art City by Naked is an amazing amalgamation of light, art, and music that creates a one-of-a-kind experience that showcases everything wonderful and amazing about the city it’s based on.

It’s also hella trippy.

Naked’s art displays are typically built around innovative uses of projection. Both front and rear projectors illuminate specially constructed objects to create amazing three-dimensional illusions. Tokyo Art City does the same, with dazzling displays dedicated to separate areas of this great megapolis. Upon entering, you’re in the middle of Shinjuku; a turn to the right and you’re between Narita Airport and Shibuya; cross the scramble and you may find yourself atop Tokyo Tower or outside Tokyo Station.

Each area is decked to the brim with amazing visual displays that are difficult to describe, and even the pictures don’t do them justice. Many of the displays rapidly shift between somewhat realistic (if overly colorful) depictions of the areas they represent, only to quickly explode into multitudes of colors and abstract shapes, sometimes while set to dope beats. Also Pac-Man and Godzilla.

Dance is also incorporated into the event via two robotic performers who occasionally appear to perform a special routine in the middle of the Shibuya Scramble display and then intermingle with the crowd. Their Daft Punk by way of Akira look is just brilliant, and the dancers’ commitment to their robot shtick is really fun. They even demonstrate how to use a touch reactive wall, that allows visitors to “paint” graffiti. Although they were way better at it than anyone else was.

It’s really hard to describe just how kinetic these displays are. The displays are ever moving and changing, it’s like being in the middle of an opening credits sequence to a mid-90s anime or something. Words fail. Pictures aren’t so hot either. Let’s try gifs.

Tokyo Art City is the Tokyo of your dreams. The Tokyo you imagined in your head when you were watching City Hunter, Bubblegum Crisis, or Ghost In The Shell at an inappropriate age. Streaks of flashing lights, pounding music, robots, and even Godzilla. You should go.

Tokyo Art City is located at the AaMo Art Gallery in Tokyo Dome City, near the MLB Cafe. Admittance is 1,600 yen (about $16) and its open from 11am – 6pm. It’s running until September 23rd, with an expansion showcasing Odaiba opening in late July. Given how crazy busy these kinds of things can get during the weekend, if you’re interested in going, try to stop in during week, when crowds are rather sparse.

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