Fujiko Nakaya + Ukichiro Nakaya “Greenland”
[Image: Opal Loop / Cloud Installation | 1980 | New York City, USA (Collaboration with Trisha Brown Dance Company) Photo: ©Johan Elbers (June 12, 1980)]
This event has ended.
Exhibition devoted to the internationally active fog artist Fujiko Nakaya and her father, Ukichiro Nakaya. In 1936, Ukichiro Nakaya, a famous scientist known for the quote, “Snow crystals are letters sent from heaven,” successfully made the world’s first artificial snow crystals. Ukichiro believed that the realization of scientific truths depended on a collaboration between human beings and nature. This continues to have a strong influence on Fujiko Nakaya, who uses fog as a medium of artistic expression.
Born in 1933 as the second daughter of Ukichiro Nakaya, Fujiko started her artistic career as a painter. She later participated in E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology), an experimental group focusing on collaborations between art and science that was formed in New York in 1966, and in the ’70s and ’80s produced and exhibited video works while based in Japan. Fujiko’s first “fog sculpture,” a type of work made with artificial fog that has come to be synonymous with the artist, was exhibited at the Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ’70, held in Osaka in 1970. She subsequently created over 80 installations and performances all over the world. Fujiko also has consistently collaborated with artists from various other genres, including architecture, music, dance, and light.
In this exhibition, whose title refers to the site of Ukichiro’ s later research on snow and ice, Ginza Maison Hermès’ glass block is likened to the icy terrain of the Arctic, as Fujiko undertakes a fog experiment in the interior of the space. Ukichiro’ s numerous memorable phrases, such as, “To understand ice, you have to listen to ice,” convey the mental and physical impressions that transcend science when we are united with sublime nature, and the rigor and reverence that Ukichiro felt when closely examining a subject in natural science research. From 1957, around the time that Ukichiro began to spend the last summers of his life in the Arctic, Fujiko was in Paris and Madrid studying painting, which later provided a foundation for her artistic expression. The natural scientific motifs of the sun and clouds, which she depicted at the time, convey two physically separate but resonating sensibilities. Along with “Glacial Fogfall,” a new work by Fujiko, the exhibition focuses on the endlessly curious and challenging spirits of these two talented individuals. Enjoy the dialogue, straddling two generations, between Ukichiro and Fujiko Nakaya, who saw the process of observing, recording, reproducing, and understanding the ever-changing character of nature and the environment as a highly significant activity and one that is increasingly important for us today.