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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

This Luminous Tokyo Greenhouse Lets You Turn Vegetables Into a Symphony of Light and Music

The multi-sensory installation responds to interactions with the cherry tomatoes and eggplants.
By Sarah Ward
November 04, 2017
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This Luminous Tokyo Greenhouse Lets You Turn Vegetables Into a Symphony of Light and Music

The multi-sensory installation responds to interactions with the cherry tomatoes and eggplants.
By Sarah Ward
November 04, 2017
  shares

There's no shortage of bright lights in Tokyo, but one particular patch of grass is currently shining more vividly than most. Indeed, located next to an inner-city mall until November 5, a pop-up plastic greenhouse is positively glowing — all in the name of combining agriculture, technology and design in a fun and immersive fashion, and with a swelling soundtrack to match.

The interactive installation might be called Digital Vegetables, but no one in its vicinity will feel like they're being forced to consume something they don't want. Rather, trying to avoid The Garden Square outside Tokyo Midtown in Roppongi is futile — the lure of technicolour illumination paired with symphonic music is something you can't ignore.

A project by creative firm PARTY, Digital Vegetables combines its greenery-filled structure with plenty of incandescent bulbs, and asks visitors to not only watch, but touch, play, wander, listen and drop their jaws in awe. As attendees walk through the free-to-enter space, they're encouraged to gently roam their hands over the cherry tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots and cabbages blossoming in the soil inside. With patrons getting hands-on with the growing plants with each touch — and taking in not only their texture, but their scent — the LEDs and sounds respond.

Sarah Ward

While the bright lights part of the piece may seem straightforward, the display includes animated projections of fresh produce twinkling up and down the greenhouse's ceiling. On the music side of things, sound designer Ray Kunimoto actually recorded real plants (that is, the sounds that emanate from rubbing their seeds, touching their leaves and eating their fruit). He then mixed them with orchestra instruments such as the violin, trumpet, oboe, flute, piano, harp and clarinet, and created a melody.

Basically, if you've ever wanted to control your own multi-sensory, multi-coloured light show — and you happen to be in Japan at present — this is your chance. If you've ever wanted to use a veggie garden as a musical instrument, here's your opportunity as well. Unsurprisingly, the results are overwhelmingly gorgeous. Seeing folks audibly exclaiming in wonder (when they're not staring up and taking a constant stream of snaps, that is) is all part and parcel of the experience.

If you're in Tokyo, Digital Vegetables is now open outside Tokyo Midtown until November 5. For more info visit digivege.jp

Images: Sarah Ward and Kenta Hasegawa.

Published on November 04, 2017 by Sarah Ward

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