Letters sent from heaven by Fujiko Nakaya

10 - 17 September (open all day)


Letters Sent from Heaven is a unique exhibition of experimental Japanese physicist Ukichiro Nakaya's photographs of snow crystals and electrostatic discharges.

Ultima 9 September
In connection with Ultima, Oslo Kunstforening has invited the Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya to make a fog sculpture on the roof terrace of the building site of the new National Museum. Ultima has in turn invited the Japanese composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto to perform a concert inside Nakaya's fog sculpture. Earlier this spring, Sakamoto released a new album where one of the tracks is a tribute to Fujiko Nakaya. As part of the collaboration, Dansens Hus has invited the Japanese dancer Min Tanaka to perform with Nakaya and Sakamoto. Artist Shiro Takatani will be the light designer for the event. 

Ekebergparken 10-17 September
On September 10th, Fujiko Nakaya opens a second fog sculpture, this time in Ekebergparken.

«Letters Sent from Heaven» is a unique exhibition of experimental Japanese physicist Ukichiro Nakaya's photographs of snow crystals and electrostatic discharges.

This is the first time Ukichiro Nakaya's (1900-1962) work is presented in Europe in connection with the fog sculptures by his daughter, Fujiko Nakaya.

This is also the first time Ukichiro Nakaya’s work is presented in Norway. The photographs were taken by Nakaya and his colleagues in the 1920s and 1930s.

Nakaya's research began with investigations of the sparks that occurred during electrostatic discharge. When he later discovered the complexity of the snow crystals he became so impressed by their beauty that he changed the direction of his research. Together with his research group, he worked from a cottage in Mount Tokachi where about 3000 photographs were taken, which formed the basis for his analysis and classification of snow crystals. As a result of his research, in 1936 he developed the world's first man-made snow crystal.

Nakaya also studied snow and ice formations in different regions. In the 1950s he visited Greenland where he collected samples of ice that had been formed for thousands of years to read the history of the Earth's climate.

All the exhibited photographs included in "Letters Sent from Heaven" are by Ukichiro Nakaya. The photographs included are new prints, super high-resolution giclée copies of natural and artificial snow crystals, photographed between 1933 and 1940. The images of the electrostatic discharges were photographed between 1926-1927.

They were first shown at the Sapporo International Art Festival in Japan curated by Ryuichi Sakamoto in 2014, in collaboration with Kaga City and Nakaya Ukichiro Foundation with generous support from The Japan Foundation.

A version of this exhibition has recently been shown at KTH ENERGISCENEN c/o R1, as part of the program of Dome of Visions and at Riga Art Space, and will continue to the National Gallery of Iceland.

This collaboration was initiated by the Oslo Kunstforening and developed in collaboration with Ultima, Statsbygg, the National Museum, Dansens Hus and Ekebergparken.

Oslo Kunstforening has the pleasure of presenting a suite of inter-connected works and events in collaboration with Statsbygg and the National Museum, Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival, Dansens Hus and Ekebergparken.