ARTECHOUSE, the Southwest DC gallery specializing in creative works that merge art and technology, has been celebrating the seasons through large-scale installations that reflect the time of year with stunning visuals and neat interactives. And it probably comes as no surprise that the newest one, the spring exhibit, features one of DC’s seasonal favorites: Cherry Blossoms.
Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream offers a new way to experience our city’s famous flowers. They might not be real in this digital environment, but they’re beautiful as they float along the lofty walls of the gallery’s main space along with colorful clouds of light created by your movements. Like past installations there, sensors are carefully placed to let you manipulate the art by waving your arms or walking along the wall where the images are projected.
More activations invite guests to interact with the art. You can virtually feed koi fish and make cherry blossoms bloom on an interactive table. There is a hall with paper lanterns hanging above that light up as you walk under them. Orange dots on a wall can be rearranged as you “move” them.
My favorite element — and the one I think will be a fave of most guests — is an interactive table that projects beautiful blossom and Japanese-inspired images and lets you play with light and color. Hands and fingers become paint brushes as you create big swaths of color or make butterflies appear out of gray backgrounds. It’s mesmerizing and therapeutic and just really delightful to see.
All ages, children and adults, will appreciate this Cherry Blossom Dream. Kids are welcome during daytime hours 10am – 5pm, but evenings 5:30-11pm are for adults only. The bar is open during these hours, serving tasty and gorgeous exhibit-inspired cocktails. And on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 5:30-7pm the Bloom Food Immersive Experience, a bento box style meal will also be available.
Sakura Yume // Cherry Blossom Dream
Where: ARTECHOUSE | 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, WDC
When: Daily through May 6, 2018
Hours: 10am – 5pm (all ages) | 5:30-11pm (21+)
Admission: $15/adult, $8/child | $85/Bloom Food Experience