Abu Dhabi has unveiled the concept of teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi – a multi-sensory art experience that will be ‘home for infinite curiosity’, featuring original and constantly transforming artistic installations unique to Abu Dhabi. teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi is set to be an immersive, inspirational space where the intersection of art and technology will ignite curiosity, imagination and creativity in all who visit. Slated to be completed in 2024, it is the latest offering of the Saadiyat Cultural District.
The 17,000sqm (GFA) teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi building has been conceived with unparalleled unique installations that will be unique to Abu Dhabi, created through an extensive experimentation process. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has partnered with Miral, the emirate’s leading creator of destinations and experiences, to develop the concept, architecture and facilities, alongside teamLab, the globally acclaimed, interdisciplinary Tokyo-based art collective, known for their unique artistic vision.
It's time for the big reveal!— Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (@dctabudhabi) June 23, 2022
A multi-sensory art space is coming to Abu Dhabi! teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi will be the world's new home for infinite curiosity on #SaadiyatIsland, set for completion in 2024. pic.twitter.com/10eOUIN8oA
Strengthening Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading cultural centre, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi will sit alongside Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and other major landmarks comprising the Saadiyat Cultural District, adding to the area’s creative offering by creating a bridge between history, culture and creativity and immersing visitors in an innovative art experience. Visitors will be invited to open their minds and embark on a journey through teamLab’s new concept of Environmental Phenomena, which offers a new perspective on the world around us. The featured artworks are created and shaped by the environment which produces the various phenomena. The adapted and unique architecture, conceptualised by teamLab and realised by Abu Dhabi-based MZ Architects, plays an important role in providing the artworks with an environment to evolve freely and organically, as if they were life-forms themselves. The experience will be unique to each visitor, changing with each visit, as they discover a place in which to endlessly explore and transcend the limits of their imagination.
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Curiosity and imagination are at the core of who we are as human beings, sparking all our discoveries, inventions and innovations through the millennia. Sitting at the intersection of art, technology, nature and high-tech fantasy, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi will offer a world of boundless wonder and creativity to all who visit, encouraging the new perspectives that are so essential to a thriving future. Adding yet another outstanding experience to our world-leading cultural destination, the teamLab Phenomena experience will be unique to Abu Dhabi, reinforcing the emirate’s position as a destination of distinction. Providing a journey which will trigger the senses, nurture curiosity, spark imagination, and awaken a thirst for knowledge, teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi fully supports our commitment to inspire a new generation of innovators and creators in the emirate and beyond.”
Toshiyuki Inoko, founder of teamLab, said: “It is a great honour for us to be able to open teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi in the Saadiyat Cultural District of Abu Dhabi, a world-leading, future-focused city. At teamLab Phenomena, visitors will be immersed into a world that organically changes and evolves through the participation and actions of the people in it, and it is precisely this physical experience that can expand our senses of value. The future is built upon the grand sum of people’s creations. Curiosity drives people towards a deeper understanding of the world and leads to creativity. We believe that imagination decides the direction of this creativity. Our hope is for teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi to create opportunities for curiosity and imagination to be born”.
Commenting on the philosophy behind the project, Inoko continued: “teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi is based on teamLab’s new concept in which the existence of the artworks is created by the phenomena produced by their environment. The artworks in teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi do not exist independently but are created by the environment which produces the various phenomena, stabilising their structure. Objects like stones and man-made creations maintain a stable structure on their own. Unlike these, the existence of the artworks in teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi are dependent on their environment. The environment produces phenomena and stabilizes their structure – these stabilized phenomena are what create the existence of the artworks”.
“Environmental phenomena are released from the material substances that have been responsible for maintaining structures of existence. Elements like air, water, and light that permeate our daily lives are transformed by their environment into unique phenomena that become works of art. The boundaries of their existence are ambiguous and continuous. Even if people destroy the work, the work will remain in existence as long as its environment is maintained. On the contrary, the work will disappear if the environment is not maintained. In time, people’s consciousness will expand from existence itself to the environment. A stone can continue to exist in a closed box, sealed off from the outside world, but life cannot sustain its existence in such a box because it is created by its environment. Life is a miraculous phenomenon that emerges from a flow in a continuous world,” he added.
Having created art that is part of the collection of global institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, amongst many others, teamLab’s artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians and architects are creating an original concept and unique teamlab Phenomena Abu Dhabi experience for the UAE capital.
To celebrate the official launch of the project, DCT Abu Dhabi has also launched a preview activation at Mamsha Al Saadiyat from 24 June to 17 July for visitors to experience immersive artworks that embody the concept of ‘infinite curiosity’ ahead of the opening, taking them on a journey of wonder and sensory exploration.
The teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi launch reaffirms Abu Dhabi’s vision to enrich the emirate’s cultural landscape and foster its Culture and Creative Industries (CCI), positioning the UAE capital as a centre for creativity and innovation. With culture a major driver of social and economic development, the emirate is fast becoming a globally known centre of talent and a leading producer of creative content. Abu Dhabi seeks to broaden artistic and cultural expression by providing its community and visitors with a diverse cultural programme curated to inspire creativity and knowledge development, creating a culturally active and artistically conscious city with strong links to the wider region and the world.
The Emirate continues its support and development of cultural institutions, including museums such as the upcoming Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi. The emirate’s performing arts, media and gaming sectors will also see further investment in their diverse array of programmes and initiatives.