The Work of Wind curated by Christine Shaw

Destroyer and Preserver; hear O hear! (artist rendering), 2015

Suitable for all ages

Thank you to Harbourfront Centre

Beaufort 7: Destroyer and Preserver; hear, O hear!, 2015

Jon Sasaki - Toronto, Canada


Tall, dancing, inflatable smoke stacks congregate on Toronto's waterfront for one night, reappearing like ghostly apparitions on a shoreline once abundant with chimneys. The installation re-imagines the manufacturing sector that once featured prominently on the lake, but has since been replaced by other land uses, such as residential, tourism and culture. It explores the changing fortunes of Toronto's “smokestack industry,” once hailed as a symbol of progress and prosperity, but has, as of this century become laden with negative connotations, shuttled out of sight or shuttered entirely.

The air tubes run throughout the night, dancing, swaying, gyrating and heaving like a writhing industrial park, belching out stylized “smoke” from the top of each. Their movements ebb and flow in a cyclical choreography, sometimes listlessly flopping around on the ground impeding visitor paths, other times frantically jittering about upright. The anthropomorphic forms might appear to some as tragic ghostly specters, hazily re-emerging on the waterfront like some sort of maligned industrial Brigadoon. Or they might be read by others as sinister taunting figures, resilient reminders of our continued dependence on carbon-emitting industries.

Jon Sasaki's work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions, including the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Recent group exhibitions include Platform Art Spaces (Melbourne, Australia), Art Autonomy Network (Tokyo, Japan) and MOCCA (Toronto, Canada). He is the recipient of the 2015 Canadian Glenfiddich Artists in Residence Prize. Sasaki holds a BFA from Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada) and is represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery in Toronto.


On the Waterfront Trail south of Queens Quay Terminal

Queens Quay East & The Waterfront Trail (Access at York Street and Queens Quay West)

This project is outdoors.