Fujiko Nakaya: Veil at The Glass House / Opening

Fujiko Nakaya: Veil is a site-specific installation that enters into dialog with the Glass House, the iconic building that was designed American architect Philip Johnson and completed in 1949. The Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya is known for her fog sculptures and environments. With Veil, she wraps the Glass House in a veil of dense mist that comes and goes, hiding the Glass House, and making it visible again. Inside the house, the fog seems to turn the huge glass plates of the structure into white walls, producing an opaque atmosphere in the otherwise extremely transparent building. Visitors can make this experience for approximately 10 to 15 minutes each hour, until November 30, 2014.

In this video, we attend the opening reception of Fujiko Nakaya’s Veil installation at The Glass House in New Canaan (CT, USA). More videos covering Fujiko Nakaya’s fog installation and Philip Johnson’s Glass House, including interviews with Fujiko Nakaya, Henry Urbach (Director, The Glass House), and Irene Shum Allen (Curator and Collections Manager, The Glass House) are coming soon.

Fujiko Nakaya: Veil coincides with the 65th anniversary of the Glass House and its 2014 tour season. It’s the first site-specific artist project to engage the iconic Glass House itself. For the installation, Fujiko Nakaya uses water that is pumped at high pressure through 600 nozzles installed on three sides of the Glass House. The fog that is created by this installation makes the wind and the air streams visible, which surround the Glass House. As Nakaya explains: “Fog responds constantly to its own surroundings, revealing and concealing the features of the environment. Fog makes visible things become invisible and invisible things — like wind — become visible.”

Fujiko Nakaya: Veil at The Glass House, Opening reception. New Canaan (CT, USA), April 26, 2014.

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Fujiko Nakaya was born in Sapporo, Japan in 1933. Her father, Ukichiro Nakaya, is a physicist credited with making the first artificial snowflakes. He had an impact on her work and, as a young art student, she became interested in working with cloud-like forms. In 1970, at the World Expo in Osaka, Japan, Fujiko Nakaya created the world’s first fog sculpture when she enveloped the Pepsi Pavilion in a vaporous mist, in collaboration with the legendary artist collaborative Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.).

Nakaya has created fog installations around the world, including projects for the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; the Grand Palais, Paris; the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; and the Exploratorium, San Francisco, among others. She consulted with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the Blur Building for the 2002 Swiss Expo, and has worked with numerous artists (including Trisha Brown, David Tudor, and Bill Viola) on environments for music and performance. Veil is her first large-scale installation on the east coast of the United States and the first time her work has been presented at an internationally renowned historic site.

Organized by Henry Urbach, Director and Chief Curator, and Irene Shum Allen, Curator and Collections Manager, Fujiko Nakaya: Veil is supported by National Endowment for the Arts, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, The Japan Foundation, and Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. Additional support is provided by Mee Industries, Inc. The exhibition runs until November 30, 2014.

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