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Drifting from Hyde Park in London, to the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana. Sou Fujimoto’s “Cloud” has proven to be a hugely popular art installation for both the city’s residents and visiting tourists.
Sou Fujimoto’s “Cloud” is an extraordinary installation located in front of the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana. The work was initially created for the Serpentine Pavilion 2013 in London, and miraculously resembles a soft cloud – despite being constructed of white steel rods! As it was in London, the Cloud in Tirana has become one of the most popular attractions for locals and tourists alike. Not only is it an object to be admired for its beauty, but also serves as an independent artistic space with an exciting repertoire of cultural and social activities. During the city’s warm summer evenings, the Cloud becomes an atmospheric stage for musicians and theatre performances.
Japanese artist Sou Fujimoto had this in mind when he imagined the structure in the middle of London’s Hyde Park. His aim was to create a harmony between the object itself and its natural setting, with a welcoming and comfortable interior, which is deceptively spacious once you step inside. Although the Cloud is made of white steel, its irregular shape helps it adapt seamlessly to its surroundings wherever it’s located, be it London or Tirana. Its special design shields visitors from the natural elements, whilst allowing air and light to easily flow through – creating a space that is simultaneously internal and external.
In 2016, when Sou Fujimoto’s “Cloud” relocated from London to the green gardens in front of the Gallery in Tirana, the structure became a hot spot of activity for Albania’s capital. Though 7m tall and taking up a surface area of 540 m2, amazingly the Cloud doesn’t inhibit visitor’s view of the surrounding environment. In fact, the structure enhances its surroundings, and has transformed the square in to an interactive and social space for visitors. Everyone who strolls through the city’s grand boulevard is drawn to the musical sounds and the excited voices coming from within the Cloud. This space offers a wonderful glimpse of a life lived, albeit temporarily, amongst the clouds!