Fujiko Nakaya hides bridge inside a blanket of fog

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Fujiko Nakaya hides Bristol bridge inside a blanket of fog

A pedestrian bridge in Bristol, England, is the latest architectural landmark to be enveloped in fog by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya (+ slideshow).

The installation, called Fog Bridge, opens today and for the next nine days will periodically shroud Pero's Bridge in Bristol harbour as part of the In between Time Festival.

"During the festival, a bundle of fog will be perching on the bridge and performing with the wind," said Nakaya, 82.

Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya

Nakaya, who was born in 1933 and has worked with fog for 40 years, has previously thrown foggy veils over Philip Johnson's iconic Glass House and Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

She also worked architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro on the Blur Building, a fog-covered structure built on Lake Neuchatel for Expo 02 in Switzerland.

Fog Bridge is her first UK commission. "The function of a bridge is usually very simple, to cross over to the other side," said Nakaya. "I like its functional simplicity, but it can hold a cloud and suspend it too."

Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya

Pero's Bridge is a pedestrian bascule bridge that was designed by Irish artist Eilis O'Connell with engineering firm Arup. Completed in 1999, its most distinctive feature is a pair of trumpet-shaped sculptures that act as counterweights to the central opening section.

Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya

The bridge is named after Pero Jones, an enslaved African who was brought to Bristol by a wealthy merchant in 1784 and later died in the city, which was a key centre for the slave trade.

Nakaya's Fog Bridge is intended to celebrate Bristol's status as European Green Capital. The changing cloud of fog aims to invite visitors to consider the changing climate.

"Fog Bridge allows us all to think more widely about climate disruption," said Anna Rutherford, executive director of In Between Time, the production company behind the festival. "On a smaller scale, the artist's own working methods, her collaboration with the elements, water and wind currents, is a reminder of our own need to collaborate more with the natural environment."

Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya

Nakaya creates the fog by pumping water at high pressure through many micro-fine nozzles that are installed at foot level, a metre outside of the bridge.

Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya

"Walking inside fog, people are suddenly confronted with white darkness, but soon they find themselves trying to use all the senses other than the visual to orient themselves," she said. "People love the feel of fog on their skin, immersed, wet and cold, but gentle and soothing. It's a primary experience."

Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya
Photograph by Plaster

Fog Bridge will operate for five minutes every 15 minutes from 8am until 22 February.

Fog Bridge by Fujiko Nakaya
Photograph by Plaster

Photography is by Max McClure, unless otherwise stated.