Fog Sculptor Makes First NYC Public Appearance at Japan Society, 5/13

According to Glass House Director Henry Urbach, Philip Johnson's iconic masterpiece offers "the dream of transparency, an architecture that vanishes." Beginning in May, this "vanishing architecture" will itself disappear every hour on the hour under an ephemeral atmospheric veil conjured by renowned artist Fujiko Nakaya.

For Glass House's 65th anniversary, Urbach commissioned a site-specific installation from Nakaya, known for her pioneering use of fog as a sculptural medium and for being the first artist ever to create a sculptural fog environment. Fujiko Nakaya: Veil, her first major East Coast installation and on view through November 30, creates a "continuous interplay between what is visible and what is not... evoking a sense of mystery, foreboding and wonder," according to the artist.

On Tuesday May 13, at 6:30 pm, Nakaya makes her first-ever New York City public presentation on her collective fog works at Japan Society in Into the Fog with Fujiko Nakaya. She will discuss the Glass House Veil installation, as well as her fascination with and motivations for exploring an everyday weather phenomenon in her body of work, which includes fog gardens, falls, geysers and enshrouding the Pepsi Pavilion at the 1970 World Exposition in Osaka.

Urbach discusses the dynamic and participatory aspect of this anti-architectural medium, which transforms, distorts, and conceals its surroundings. Glass House represents a "balance of opposites," he says. "With Nakaya's temporary installation, we carry this sensibility to its endpoint while allowing the unique magic of the Glass House ... to return again and again as the fog rises and falls."

The installation is as much about revealing as it is about concealing, says Nakaya. "Fog responds constantly to its own surrounding... [it] makes visible things become invisible and invisible things - like wind - become visible." Moderated by Experiments in Art and Technology's Julie Martin, the talk will feature video and visuals of Nakaya's work.

According to the Guggenheim Bilbao, which presented Nakaya's Fog Sculpture #08025 (F.O.G.) in 1998, "Fujiko Nakaya is the first artist to have worked with fog as a sculptural medium. This is not to say that she molds the medium according to her own conception; rather, her approach is a subtle collaboration with water, atmosphere, air currents, and time itself. Experiential and ephemeral in nature, her fog sculptures have certain affinities with Conceptual and Land art, but nevertheless represent a radical departure in the history of art and technology."

Fujiko Nakaya was born in Sapporo, Japan in 1933. Her father, Ukichiro Nakaya, a physicist credited with making the first artificial snowflakes, 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, 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. In addition to being Nakaya's first large-scale installation on the East Coast of the U.S., Fujiko Nakaya: Veil marks the first time her work has been presented at an internationally renowned historic site.

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