Sapporo born Fujiko Nakaya (中谷 芙二子) , whose father Ukichiro Nakaya (中谷 宇吉郎) is credited with making the first artificial snowflakes, has recently exhibited in Bristol. Nakaya is known for her use of fog as a sculptural medium, and in this recent exhibition she took one of Bristol’s landmarks, Pero’s Bridge, and surrounded it in fog.
Her first installation of this kind was actually the world’s first fog sculpture at the ‘Pepsi Pavilion, Expo ‘70‘ in Osaka in 1970.
From 12th to 22nd February this year Pero’s Bridge in Bristol’s Harbourside area became shrouded in fog at regular intervals. The ‘fog’ was created using fine mist sprays on either side of the bridge, and it wasn’t a place to be if you were bothered about messing up your hair!
So, what was the point? Actually, that’s the part I’m still trying to figure out. It was certainly fun and interesting, and it definitely got people’s attention, but I think there was supposed to be a bigger message which I’m afraid I just didn’t get. The Arnolfini advertising for the event said “The world is getting warmer – but how will this change our weather. And how might a changing climate disrupt our lives? To celebrate Bristol’s status as European Green Capital, we have invited a conjurer of unusual weather, artist Fujiko Nakaya to the city. Pause your life for a moment, take a small step into the unknown.”
It was quite a cool installation, but I’m not sure how creating a foggy bridge celebrates Bristol being the European Green Capital. Maybe it just serves as a reminder of the fog and smog we’re escaping by being somewhere greener and nicer than London?!