The Winnipeg Arts Council through the City of Winnipeg's Public Art Program with additional project support from Coun. Devi Sharma commissioned Bokeh. The local team of artists Takashi Iwasaki and Nadi worked together to create Bokeh, a playful and functional artwork for the Kildonan Park Duck Pond. Colourful and sculptural in the summer, Bokeh also lights the pond’s skating area in the dark of winter. Inspired by the architectural era of the adjacent Peguis Pavilion, the exaggerated arced forms and large globes reference the mid-century modern Arco Lamp. The globes, topped with abstract whirlybird seeds and clouds, project rainbow-coloured lights to shift the boundaries between reality and imagination, between urban life and the natural world into "bokeh", which is a Japanese word for blurriness.
“Public Art enriches our surroundings, adds depth and meaning to public spaces by individualizing and celebrating these spaces," says Carol A. Phillips, Executive Director of the Winnipeg Arts Council. "The Winnipeg Arts Council is thrilled that Bokeh provides an immersive and dreamy experience for skaters and park goers that is fun, otherworldly and magical.”
“I always enjoy working with the Winnipeg Arts Council to enhance our public parks with unique works of art. Bokeh is beautiful and bright just like our community. I look forward to celebrating the incredible work of local artists,” adds Coun. Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan).
About the Artists
Born in Hokkaido, Japan, Takashi Iwasaki moved to Winnipeg to study at the University of Manitoba in 2002. He was attracted to Winnipeg's vibrant and supportive arts community and calls the city his new hometown. His practice diverges into many mediums from embroidery to painting to collage and sculpture. His work is bright and colourful, and he wants people to feel joy and positive feelings when they look at it.
Nadi is an award-winning landscape architecture, urban design and planning consultancy involved in the creation of innovative, resilient and engaging human environments. Meaghan Hunter, one of Nadi's landscape architect, approaches every project with a balance between environmental sensitivity, community connection, artistic beauty and economic viability through the seamless integration of landscape, art and architecture.
Winnipeg's Sarah Michaelson, a.k.a. Mama Cutsworth has been a DJ, dance party curator and music educator since 2004. Her musical taste spans eras and genres, including soul, Salsa, hip hop and house. Beginning in 2015, all generations of Winnipeg dancers have been able to enjoy Mama Cutsworth's Family Dance Party, usually happening a few times a year at the beloved Good Will Social Club. The Family Dance Party has grown in such popularity that Cutsworth has taken the event to the Manitoba Children's Museum, Many Fest presented by the Winnipeg Downtown BIZ and Riding Mountain National Park.
For interviews with the artists or more information about the Winnipeg Arts Council, please contact Trish Cooper.