“Cloud” is simply the nickname of the enormous installation located in front of the National Gallery of Arts in Tirana. This work was initially created for the Serpentine Pavilion 2013 in London and, when the artificial structure was first exhibited, despite it being constructed by white steel rods, to all viewers it resembled the softest-looking natural phenomenon, the “cloud.” As in London, the “Cloud” in Tirana has become one of the greatest attractions for locals and tourists alike, serving not only as an object to be admired but also an independent artistic space with a rich repertoire of cultural and social activities. During warm summer evenings, the “Cloud” becomes the favorite stage for musicians and theater performances.
The Japanese artist Sou Fujimoto, the “Cloud”’s creator had something similar in mind when he imagined this structure in the middle of London’s Hyde Park. His aim was the creation of a seamless harmony between the object and its natural setting as well as comfortable interior, which is surprisingly spacious once you step inside. Although the “cloud” is made of white steel, its irregular shape makes it adapt seamlessly to its surroundings, wherever this may be, in London or Tirana. It is especially designed to shield visitors from the natural elements without blocking them from penetrating inside, as it allows air and light to flow within it. This space is simultaneously internal and external!
In 2016, when the “Cloud” moved from London’s park to the green garden 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, the “Cloud” amazingly does not inhibit the visitor’s vision of the surrounding environment. On the contrary, the structure enhances its surroundings and has transformed the square into a real interactive and social space. Everyone who walks through the city’s grand boulevard is attracted by the musical sounds and the lively voices coming from within the “Cloud.” This space offers the closest possible version of a life lived – temporary but deliciously – amongst clouds.