Experience Refreshing Digital Art at Pace Art + Technology Menlo Park
I was first introduced to Pace Gallery at Beijing's 798 Art District by an artist friend of mine. Compared to the many commercial-driven art galleries at 798 that even charge an entrance fee to enter, Pace Beijing was outstanding in their choice of artists. So when Pace opened in Palo Alto and Menlo Park in the San Francisco Bay Area this year, I was ecstatic. One journalist went as far as saying that there was finally good contemporary art in the cultural desert that is the Silicon Valley. I don't agree, I think if you dig hard enough you'll always be able to find good art around, but having a world-renowned gallery opening two locations back to back here in the Bay Area is really some exciting news.
What I find exceptional is that Pace is able to marry their specialty of art curation with Silicon Valley's technical expertise by opening the Pace Art + Technology branch in Menlo Park. Their inaugural exhibition is "Living Digital Space and Future Parks", an exploration of digital art that happens to be perfectly family-friendly. For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, the exhibit will run until July 31st, 2016 (extended), so hurry up before it closes. For those of you in New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, and Beijing, lucky you, you have your own Pace Gallery in town, make sure you hop in from time to time to check out their newest exhibits. And for those of you that aren't in these areas, join me on a visual tour of the exhibit!
Pace Art + Technology opened in Menlo Park in the beginning of 2016 in a 20,000 ft² space, which the ambition to showcase cutting-edge digital art. And what better location to have it than in Silicon Valley (maybe Tokyo)? The location is right next to Stanford University, so you can definitely mark this place on the itinerary should you visit Palo Alto.
The first exhibit in this new space is by the Tokyo-based art collective "teamLab". It is separated into two parts: Living Digital Space is in the main building, and Future Parks in the adjacent building.
Living Digital Space
Upon entering the space, we were first greeted by a floating LED light cube. These days this type of installation is not uncommon, but the visual experience is always appealing and soothing, and it makes a good transition into the darker spaces that follow.
There was a digital waterfall that I found to be very relaxing to watch. Even though it was purely a visual experience, somehow you could imagine the cool air and water droplets on your face...
The "Flowers and People, cannot be controlled but live together" exhibit gives you the chance to experience a room of booming flowers projected onto a room of people.
If you like Hokusai's waves, you're in for a treat. You can watch the digital version of these iconic waves rise and fall in real time in front of your eyes in the "Black Waves" exhibit.
One of the exhibits have you step into a room of smokes (digital) and mirrors to the infinity.
One of our favorite exhibits was an immersive experience in a room filled with projections of soaring birds leaving rainbow traces behind them. The animation hits many walls at once, creating an interesting dance in space. We didn't have to worry about our kids "touching" art. They could chase the birds around the room, and they could try to "catch" them on the walls.
Future Parks feature interactive digital experiences that are tailored for children. There is an entire wall with a living city of houses and vehicles. The fun part? Kids get to draw and color their own houses and vehicles with crayons on paper, and then scan them to be projected onto the wall. It's definitely thrilling for them to see their art featured on a gallery wall for the first time.
The same principle applies for the digital aquarium. Design and color your own sea creatures, and you'll get to see them swimming in the virtual aquarium on the wall.
Want to run in a river, splash around, and see rainbow colors bounce up in your wake? Here you get to do it without the mess, digitally.
If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area this summer, I would highly recommend visiting Pace Art + Technology in Menlo Park for some immersive digital art experience. How often does one get a chance to experience cutting-edge technology in contemporary art while letting the kids explore hands-on?
And if you happen to be in New York this summer, I wouldn't miss The Yosemite Suite by David Hockney at Pace New York! Also, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter and follow Travel Chic Mom on your favorite social media for my upcoming guide to visiting the real Yosemite!