Text by Lisa Cavanaugh | Photographs by Melissa Ostrow
Sculpting with fog may seem like an ephemeral fantasy, but for renowned Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya it is a favored medium. Her public art project “Fog x FLO: Fujiko Nakaya on the Emerald Necklace,” a collaboration with the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, gives Bostonians the opportunity to immerse themselves in fresh-water, mutable fog forms in five separate areas of the treasured park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted over 100 years ago.
Stretching from the Back Bay Fens, to Olmsted Park, Jamaica Pond, the Arnold Arboretum and Franklin Park, Nakaya’s “Fog x FLO” is a response to Olmsted’s vision of connecting people with nature (thus the initials FLO in the installation’s title). Every day, at varying intervals, fog mists out over the landscapes and waterways, reacting to the individual climate of each location and creating entrancing shapes that beckon the observer to engage with them.
“It’s a very playful work, so visitors should expect to feel surprised and joyful, as they immerse themselves in the sculptures,” says Veronika Trufanova, director of development and external relations at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. “The water Nakaya uses is potable, so you can literally drink in the art,” she adds.
Trufanova hopes people will allow the multi-sensory experience (you can hear the hiss of nozzles, feel the mist on your skin, and taste the water) to help them see Olmsted’s masterpiece in a novel way. “Once the fog settles, you can look around and appreciate the landscape anew,” she says.
The free public art presentation is on view several times an hour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in September and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in October. For more information and specific times for each location, visit the Emerald Necklace Conservancy.