The Unearthly Delights of Manabu Ikeda, Hisashi Tenmyouya & teamLab

Garden of Unearthly Delights Japan Society

images from right to left: Manabu Ikeda, Hisashi Tenmyouya and teamLab | click images to enlarge

If you plan to walk through a garden this fall, make it the “Garden of Unearthly Delights,” a new exhibition at New York’s Japan Society that opens this Thursday (Oct. 9, 2014). But be careful to stay on the footpath or you’ll quickly be consumed by a monster tsunami uprooting a city, an intense samurai-style battle and a candy-colored stream of hyperpixilating animals and flowers. This, in a nutshell, is the work of Manabu Ikeda, Hisashi Tenmyouya & teamLab, who are the focus of the exhibition.

Ikeda Manabu Foretoken

Foretoken (2008) by Manabu Ikeda

Ikeda Manabu Foretoken detail

detail of Foretoken (2008) by Manabu Ikeda

The monumental Foretoken by Manabu Ikeda is arguably the centerpiece of the show. Created in 2008, and featuring a towering tsunami uprooting and devouring everything in its path, the piece is on display for the first time since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011, which it seemed to foreshadow.

Ikeda’s paintings are so incredibly dense that a single painting can take up to 1 year (and sometimes more) to produce. And despite this rate, Ikeda has an unprecedented 11 works on display.

Ikeda Manabu Meltdown

Meltdown (2013) by Manabu Ikeda

Ikeda Manabu Settlement

Settlement (2009) by Manabu Ikeda

Ikeda has openly stated that his inspiration is the great animator Hayao Miyazaki. Ikeda even chooses to work with a Tachikawa Comic Nib Fountain Pen, Miyazaki’s tool of choice.

TeamLab’s immersive, interactive installation can’t be missed. Their combination of design and technology yields nature-filled landscapes not only reminiscent of of classical Japanese painting but are also truly out of this world.

teamLab United, Fragmented, Repeated, and Impermanent World

United, Fragmented, Repeated, and Impermanent World (2013) by teamLab

Tenmyouya Rhyme

Rhyme (2012) by Hisashi Tenmyouya

Tenmyouya Rhyme detail

detail of Rhyme (2012) by Hisashi Tenmyouya

(this post is part of a series of our top picks of Japanese art openings in New York this fall 2014. You can see other picks here.)


  1. Christian Walker

    October 9, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Why do you invite people to visit but not even specify the country this is held in? This is held in NEW YORK CITY.

    • @Christian – sorry about that. I live in NY and am always writing from that perspective so it’s easy to forget. I’ve edited the article.

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