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This project was successfully funded on September 8, 2011

Fog Catcher (working title)

by Nami Yamamoto


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    According to Japanese legend that I learned as a child, the immortal wizard “Sennin” performed miracles in his solitary existence, sustained only by the mountain fog that shrouded his mornings and evenings. A similar tale can be told of the California Redwood tree, also immortally old and no less miraculous in its size and character, which receives a significant portion (30-40%) of its water supply from moisture derived from the fog rolling in from the ocean.  While this analogous relationship is purely poetic, it started me thinking about working with this concept of water collecting as the basis for my contribution to “Natural Discourse”, an exhibition co-curated by Shirley Watts and Mary Anne Friel, to be held at the University of California at Berkeley Botanical Gardens from June~October 2012.

    After some preliminary research, I found that a rudimentary device does exist to capture water from environments prone to regular foggy conditions.  Constructed from nets suspended vertically on armatures, these basic structures gather the moisture from fog passing through them, collecting significant amounts of water by dripping into a collection pool immediately below, flowing through pipes to an off-site location, or directly onto the plants they serve to nourish.  My project consists of creating a site-specific work entitled “Fog Catcher” (working title) to be installed at the UCBG, using this netting technology to emulate the Coastal Redwood’s process of collecting water, and providing both a visually striking and functional installation for the duration of the exhibition.

    A common theme that runs through my studio practice is calling attention to naturally occurring phenomenon mediated through multi-media installations.  This exhibition affords a number of compelling possibilities germane to these interests. This will be my first work in an outdoor environment, offering a range of challenges relative to my experience exhibiting in conventional gallery settings.  I’m excited by the prospect of working closely with the UCBG staff, specifically the horticulturists, to help envisage a work that addresses my concept within the framework of this unique location.  I’ve been engaged in learning how to make knotted nets, broadening my formal and technological skills with this new language in hopes of coupling the functional aspects of nets with the aesthetic and conceptual concerns relevant to my response to natural world’s adaptation to the atmospheric conditions of the site.

    As a Philadelphia based artist, this project necessitates a number of visits to UCBG in order to best visualize and better understand the conditions where this piece will be exhibited. My minimum fundraising goal of $6,000 will allow me to visit UCBG several times to do this research as well as cover most of actual fabrication of the project.  Additional support beyond this amount will help me with any additional fabrication cost, shipping finished work to UCBG from Philadelphia, traveling and labor to install the work at the site in 2012.  Total estimated budget for this project is $9,000.


    Thank you very much for your support!

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