Tokyo Skytree: Tokyo Skytree Mural Demo Video

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Japanese idea shop TeamLab, which is known for its stunning art meets technology pieces, sent us this video of this gorgeous "moving mural" that it recently created for Tokyo Skytree, which, apparently, is the highest freestanding broadcasting tower in the world, standing at 634 meters, or 2080 feet.

The massive piece spans 40 meters and stands 3 meters tall (130 x 9.8 feet), and depicts the vibrant Tokyo metropolis from a bird's eye view. The artwork is a visual crash course in Tokyo city life, history and culture, throwing together bits of everything--from sushi, sumo, rush hour salary men and sakura viewers, to characters from Japanese folklore like the bad-dream eating monster and the ghost of the unwashed hairy leg. Within the mural itself, TeamLab has embedded thirteen 36" monitors that bring portions of it to life: moving cars, bikes, flying balloons, rushing commuters and more. According to Chief Art Director Adam Booth, all the mural artwork was drawn by hand, scanned into the computer and colored in layers, a technique that "reflects that of the famous Ukiyoe prints of the Edo period."

The art itself is the kind you'd want to take a lot of time with, full of insane detail and many surprises, but perhaps having viewers linger wasn't part of the original plan. Booth says the original brief was a simple request from the client for "fun, exciting, interesting" digital signage to lead visitors to Skytree's entrance gate, but it may just stop them in their tracks. "We proposed a moving signage system that would show information on 13 monitors and slide in the direction of the entrance," says Booth of the original plan. "In order to make the signage that bit more interesting, we added to the proposal the idea to embed the signage monitors in a mural art work." The client then commissioned the shop to do an original artwork, and over time, the excitement over the art itself took precedence over the digital signage aspect, Booth says.

Check out some of the image details to the right and even more at TeamLab's site.

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