The Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya is known for her fog sculptures and environments. Her latest project is Veil, a site-specific installation for The Glass House, the iconic building that was designed by the American architect Philip Johnson. As part of our coverage of this project, we recorded a conversation between Fujiko Nakaya and the curator and collections manager of the Glass House, Irene Shum Allen. In this video, Fujiko Nakaya talks about how she experienced the opening of her exhibition Veil at The Glass House; her transformation from drawing to video to fog artist, and why she uses fog as artistic medium; the technical challenges of creating artifial fog and early experiments with it; the collaboration with cloud physicist Tom Mee; why she prefers pure water fog over chemical fog; her relationship with legendary artist collaborative E.A.T. Experiments in Art and Technology; her friendship with Robert Rauschenberg; how she experienced the Glass House and the dynamics of the air around it, and how she developed Veil for Philip Johnson’s iconic structure. The video above is an excerpt, the complete video is available below.
Fujiko Nakaya in Conversation with Irene Shum Allen at The Glass House, New Canaan (CT, USA), April 27, 2014.
PS: Coming soon: Interview with the director of The Glass House, Henry Urbach.
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“This place is so interesting, because it is designed, even the air, the dynamics of the air is in the design of Philip Johnson, when he chose the trees, and the hill, and valley. The landforms is mainly how the air will flow and trees as windbreakers sometimes… I just think Philip Johnson orchestrated the whole landscape, and the landscape became the instrument, and the fog as a medium, it made the Glass House the stage or procenium for the conductor, and the conductor who orchestrated it is Philip Johnson, and so, my just introducing this fog to collaborate with this landscape it became a performance of a great symphony of nature, which became visible.”
Complete video (29:04 min.):
Fujiko Nakaya was born in Sapporo, Japan in 1933. She has created fog installations around the world, including projects for the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; and the Exploratorium, San Francisco. 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 runs until November 30, 2014.