Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya

October 27, 2018, to January 20, 2019

¥900 (¥700 for advance ticket and group of more than 20 people)
Free of charge for High school student, seniors over 70, the disabled and one
accompanying attendant
→ Student card or other identification with age required.
- One-year Pass: ¥2,000 for a one-year pass
- “First Friday” special discount for students and senior citizens
→ Student card holders and seniors 65 to 69 get a discount rate of ¥100 each first
Friday (November 2, December 7 and January 4)

I think one urgent issue we currently face concerns the trust between humans and nature. As city dwellers we only trust bottled water. Tap water is too smelly to drink. The river and the sea are contaminated so we instead swim in the pool. If we distrust nature to such an extent, the only thing we can do is to keep swimming in a virtual world. Those who have been to space all talk invariously about the heightened feeling of affection towards our planet. But it would be far smarter and ecological if we could sense the same feeling within the nature of our daily lives without dressing ourselves in spacesuits and flying off to extraordinary space.
“A Responsive Scenery:Fog Sculpture” Fujiko Nakaya (Sculptor of Fog)

Nakaya’s words convey a sharp criticism towards a society conceived through developments in technology since the post-modern era, from urban environments surrounded by artificial structures to simulated experiences attained through media. Nakaya was born as the daughter of Ukichiro Nakaya who was a physicist known for his prolific writings on nature and research in glaciology and low-temperature sciences, and had created her first fog sculpture for the Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ‘70 together with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) that promoted collaborations between art and technology. For over half a century she has continued to first-handedly engage with the worlds of art & technology as well as the fusion of the arts and sciences, which are today recognized as trending practices. As manifest in her words, Nakaya’s practice harbors a subdued yet clear sense of resistance, which in this exhibition is referred to as the “Resistance of Fog.” Through her fog sculptures and video works, the exhibition introduces the spirit of the era and presents a document of Nakaya’s activities, which like her fogs, has continued to resist the tides of the times.
*Excerpt from text first published in Journal of architecture and building science Vol. 111, May 1996

《London Fog》 Fog Performance,  #03779, 2017
Installation view from “BMW Tate Live Exhibition: Ten Days Six Nights," at Tate Modern, London
Collaboration: Min Tanaka (Dance), Shiro Takatani (Lighting), Ryuichi Sakamoto (Music)
Photo by Noriko Koshida

《Utopia Q & A 1981》1971  E. A. T. Tokyo members, Tokyo terminal
E.A.T. Tokyo Member (From left):Hakudo Kobayashi, Fujiko Nakaya, Yuji Morioka
Photo by Shoji Fukazawa

《Friends of Minamata VictimsーVideo Diary》1971-1972 Still from the video

《Fog x Canopy》 #72509, 2018 the Emerald Necklace(Boston)
Photo by Noriko Koshida

《Pepsi Pavilion》 Fog Sculpture, #47773, 1970  Installation view from EXPO '70, Osaka Photo by Fujiko Nakaya

《Opal Loop/Cloud 》Fog Screen Installation, #74490, 2002
Installation view from “The Story of Experiment in Art and Technology” (NTT Inter Communication Center [ICC])
Collaboration: Trisha Brown (Choreography) Photo by Hiroshi Nishikawa

Fujiko Nakaya’s Biography

Photo:©Laura Miglone

Fujiko Nakaya (b.1933) is an artist who is internationally recognized for her “fog sculptures.” Initially pursuing a career in painting after graduating from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts, Nakaya later came to participate in Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), an art collective that was established to promote collaborations between art and technology. As a member of “E.A.T.” Nakaya created her first artificial fog sculpture for the Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ‘70 in Osaka. Her series of over 80 fog sculptures produced in various parts of the world comprising environmental sculptures made from pure water mist, installations, and performance, serve as mediums that connect human beings with nature. Nakaya’s interest towards the environment has been significantly influenced by the work of her father Ukichiro Nakaya (1900-1962), who was an experimental physicist credited with making the first artificial snowflakes. Since the 1970s Nakaya has also produced video works that present sharp perspectives on society, and while facilitating opportunities for exchange with overseas artists, has continuously devoted herself to unearthing and providing support to young Japanese video artists. In 2017, Nakaya presented seven new fog sculptures including her work for the new building of the Tate Modern in London, and in 2018 was determined as the recipient of the 30th Praemium Imperial Prize as a Laureate of Sculpture, as well as presenting five fog sculptures at the Boston Public Garden in the summer.



Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya


Contemporary Art Gallery, Plaza, Art Tower Mito




Mondays(except December 24, January 14, public holidays)and December 25, January 15 and New Year Holidays 27 December-3 January

Open Hours

9:30 - 18:00 (no admittance after 17:30)

Organized by

Mito Arts Foundation, The Yomiuri Shimbun, The Japan Association of Art Museums


The Japan Arts Council

Sponsored by

Lion Corporation, Dai Nippon Printing Co.,Ltd., Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc.,
WE / produced by POLA, Akatsuki Corp., Takimoto Clinic

Supported by

Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd., Processart Inc.

Curated by

Junya Yamamine (Curator, Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito)

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The Ishibashi Foundation and The Japan Foundation Art Curator Exchange Programme

Special International Symposium Co-organized by The Japan Foundation and Mito Arts Foundation
Play ⇔ Replay: staging & re-staging time-based media art

November 3 (Sat.), 2018

The Japan Foundation and the Ishibashi Foundation runs a programme inviting art experts to Japan to gain insights and develop an understanding of Japanese contemporary art in an aim to facilitate art exchanges between Japan and overseas. A symposium is organized as part of this exchange programme, inviting Atsuhiko Shima (Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa) and Kenji Kajiya (Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo) to serve as moderators. Speakers include Shiro Takatani, Japanese artist and co-founder of Dumb Type working with multi-media performance since the 90s, and Pip Laurenson who is responsible for the conservation of time-based media works of art at the Tate Modern in London.


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Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya

Fog Sculpture x Locus Focus: A Dance of the Atmosphere and Body

November 10 (Sat.), 2018, to November 11 (Sun.), 2018

Fujiko Nakaya’s fog sculptures and Min Tanaka’s Locus Focus performance have collaborated on several occasions in the past at Dance Hakushu 2004 in Yamanashi, The Yokohama Triennale 2008, and in London and Oslo in 2017. The fog, shaped by the atmospheric conditions responding to the site, and Tanaka’s dance that rigorously explores the subtleties and inner workings of the body, come together in the Plaza of Art Tower Mito to interact in a rich and flowing dialogue.


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Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya

Curator Talk

December 2 (Sun.), 2018

The curator of the exhibition will talk about the exhibition.


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Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya

Talk Session on the Works of Fujiko Nakaya
〝Talk by Kenjiro Okazaki: Fujiko Nakaya and “Resistance of Fog”"

January 13 (Sun.), 2019

What kind of strengths and impact do the works of Fujiko Nakaya present? How can we come to understand and interpret the possibilities that they convey? Based on his three essays on Nakaya’s work, Kenjiro Okazaki discusses the fascination and potential of Nakaya’s fog sculptures while taking into account her historical background, emphasizing the way in which they resist and provoke the foolishness of mankind to develop another manner of intelligence.


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Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya

Talk Session on the Works of Fujiko Nakaya
“A Discussion About Video Gallery SCAN”

January 6 (Sun.), 2019

Sakumi Hagiwara has been active across various fields such as theatre, film, and essay writing since participating in the launch of the independent theatre troupe “Tenjou Sajiki” led by Shuji Terayama. Masaki Fujihata is recognized as a pioneer of media art, having produced CG and animation works since the 1980s. The talk invites these two individuals deeply involved in video culture as both writers and academics, and asks them to reflect on the activities of Video Gallery SCAN as a base for exchange through video, while also touching upon discourses and contexts surrounding the 1980s to the 1990s which had been underlined by the intermixing of various cultures.


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Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya

NuiNui Workshop: Artworks Documenting Children’s Development

January 12 (Sat.), 2019

Workshop Image

This workshop aims to create a record of children in their present stage of development. Participants are invited to sew plants onto fabric using thread measuring the same length as their children’s height. All guardians including grandparents and parents are welcome to take part.


Fujiko Nakaya Resistance of Fog

Art Bus 2018

November 27 (Tue.), 2018, to December 11 (Tue.), 2018

Venue Contemporary Art Gallery

This project is a combined program of appreciation of the exhibition and workshop for expressing one’s feelings in words, designed for elementary and junior high school children in Mito City. The art center provides a shuttle bus for the transit service of participants. They are divided into small groups, and each group makes a guided tour with trained staff, mostly university students.

* Applications are based on a school as a unit.


Resistance of Fog Fujiko Nakaya

Weekend Gallery Talk

November 17 (Sat.), 2018, to January 20 (Sun.), 2019

Venue Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Tower Mito

CAC (Contemporary Art Center) gallery volunteer talkers guide visitors to explore the exhibition together.


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