Takashi Iwasaki and Nadi Design
Location: Kildonan Park Pond, 2015 Main Street
Medium: Powder-coated steel, acrylic, LED lighting
As part of the Park Masterplan, a complete redesign and reconstruction of the pond and adjacent plaza was undertaken. The local team of artist Takashi Iwasaki and Nadi Design worked together to create Bokeh, a playful and functional artwork for the Kildonan Park Pond. Colourful and sculptural in the summer, Bokeh lights the pond’s skating area in the dark of winter. Inspired by the architectural era of the adjacent Peguis Pavillion, 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, urban life and the natural world. Bokeh (a Japanese word for blurriness) provides an immersive and dreamy experience for skaters and park-goers that is fun, otherworldly and magical.
Bokeh was commissioned by the Winnipeg Arts Council through the City of Winnipeg’s Public Art Program, with additional project support provided by Councillor Devi Sharma.
Thanks to the hundreds of Winnipeggers who came out to celebrate Bokeh at a Family Skating Party on January 19, 2019 with music by Mama Cutsworth and DJ Hunnicutt. Photos below!
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 is Nadi’s leader for public space and land art. She 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.
In the Media:
- Landscapes/Paysages, Winter 2019 (vol. 21_no. 4, p. 34): Beautiful Bokeh, Activating the Winter Landscape Through Colour
- The Indo-Canadian Telegram, January/February 2019: Playful Artwork ‘Bokeh’ Lights Kildonan Park Pond, Will Be Enjoyed Year-Round
- Winnipeg Free Press, posted January 10, 2019: What's Up
- Canadian Art, posted January 10, 2019: News Roundup: Alberta Declares Month of the Artist, and More
- CBC Manitoba, posted January 11, 2019: A skating party, a WAG '80s flashback and heavy metal: CBC Manitoba's top weekend picks for Jan. 11-13
- Winnipeg Sun, posted January 11, 2019: OUT THERE: Winnipeg artist embracing the cold
- Global News Morning, posted January 11, 2019: ‘Bokeh’ is an interactive art display like no other
About Kildonan Park and Pond
Kildonan Park is a 39-hectare greenspace located between Main Street and the Red River in the suburb of West Kildonan in north Winnipeg, Manitoba. Established as the Municipality of Kildonan in 1876, this area was one of Winnipeg’s first residential suburbs, having been absorbed into the City of Winnipeg in the 1972 Unicity amalgamation.
Established in 1909, Kildonan Park is a highly-used regional park that has many characteristic features including the Peguis Pavilion, Rainbow Stage (Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre), an Olympic-sized public swimming pool, and the duck pond. During the winter months, the duck pond becomes a skating pond for the public. The park has many playful and whimsical features attractive to children, especially the Witch’s Hut which illustrates the story of Hansel and Gretel, and the winter toboggan runs.
Modeled in the English Landscape Style, the original design by Park Superintendent George Champion was intended to highlight the area’s natural beauty consisting of woodland and open pasture and the water features of Lord Selkirk Creek and the Red River. Staying true to this Style, Champion integrated features such as formal gardens, bridges over Lord Selkirk Creek, sports facilities and playing fields, and curvilinear walkways and drives throughout the park. Today, it is home to some of the oldest and largest trees in the province, and is used for play, relaxation, exploration, socializing, and reconnecting with nature: an idyllic refuge within the bustling city.
The pond is located behind the Peguis Pavilion, which is the social hub of the park and has a restaurant with an outdoor seating area overlooking the pond. There are two bridges crossing the pond, linking the Pavilion to the north fields and offering contemplative views of the water and surrounding area.