Based in the foothills of Mount Takao just outside of Tokyo is a museum which will mess with your head! In this idyllic setting where the masses of Tokyo go for an escape, you can truly enter another world. A world of trick art!
Trick art is said to have a long history of over 2,000 years. The technical name for this type of art is Trompe-l’oeil, which in French means “deceive the eye”. The purpose of this form of art is to create the illusion that the image is three-dimensional when it is actually two-dimensional. So that would be looking at a painting and it appearing to be actual objects! This form of art is said to have started in Greek and Roman times to make an illusion that a room was larger than it actually was. This art form was used in a number of Western paintings for many years, and is especially noted for the ceiling paintings. The artists were so adept that they could make a flat ceiling seem vaulted!
The museum which focuses on trick art in Takao was opened in 1996. Their purpose was to display works of art which created a three-dimensional illusion. The museum is advertised as offering you the “pleasure of being deceived”, and it really sounds fun. They even say that it can stimulate your brain by challenging you to perceive the art correctly. But your brain sees it as three-dimensional objects anyway!
There are many different types of trick art within the Takao museum. You can confuse your brain by looking into a mirror… only to see a stranger staring back! You can go into a room and be the height of a child, and a child can be the height of an adult! Pose as a famous painting, exiting from a picture frame in an elaborate dress. Try to cross a room on a death-defying rotting plank or wood. Or escape from a river infested with crocodiles. This is just a taster of what is on offer, it’s truly a weird experience. Also don’t be afraid of rules here, you can take photos, touch the exhibitions and even joke around. This museum is truly created for the guests to have fun!
3D Edo and haunted house: Tokyo Trick Art Museum