For millions of years, this world has been a great gift to nearly everything living on it, a planet whose atmosphere, temperature, air, water, seasons, and weather were precisely calibrated to allow us — the big us, including forests and oceans, species large and small — to flourish. (Or rather, it was we who were calibrated to its generous, even bounteous, terms.) And that gift is now being destroyed for the benefit of a few members of a single species.
The Abbey in the Oakwood, Caspar David Friedrich, 1808-1810
Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.
Have you enjoyed the magic of a bank of fog, letting it slip around you as surroundings vanish and reappear? Many who experience fog simply find it inconvenient and dangerous. Like many natural phenomena, it is both beautiful and perilous, especially for travelers.
Environmental installation artist Fujiko Nakaya makes fogscapes, designing and installing complex computerized machinery to create low lying clouds of water vapor. No chemicals are used in the process of creating her scaled down versions of natural fog, leaving the water potable. Nakaya’s works are often installed in downtown areas and truly bring the playful beauty of nature into the urban landscape, where the fog interacts with weather conditions to put on a striking show. A marriage of science and art, Nakaya’s designs have graced cities all over the world, including Tokyo, Osaka, San Francisco, Canberra, Paris, Linz, Toronto and Bilbao. She has also provided fog design for theatrical and musical productions, including dance performances. The video below was released in conjunction with an installation in Taipei, Taiwan, entitled Post Urban Fogscape.
What a gentle way to bring the awareness of nature to this city, where once rice farmers were at the mercy of the elements. Here are two more fogscapes by Nakaya, which reveal her delightful imagination. Like a true theater artist, she does not flaunt the technology behind her construction, creating a wonderful sense of mystery. Nature itself is theater.