The Skyscraper

Stratus, Cirrus, Cumulus: Meteorologists recognise ten different types of clouds. The common feature for all of them is that they float in the sky far above the ground. At the Himalaya Art Museum in Shanghai, one cloud came nearly close enough to touch. As if riding through the window on a breeze, it hovered over the staircase like it happened all the time. The force behind this seemingly surrealistic event is Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde.

As part of his Nimbus series, Smilde has created many of these unexpected encounters since 2012 by perfecting the art of creating ideal conditions for cloud formation indoors. Transported from their natural context, the artists stages, with the aid of precise illumination, the cloud as if it were a volatile yet beautiful sculpture. After just seconds it evaporates as if it had never been there. Accordingly, photos taken at the right moment are the only opportunity to experience and exhibit Smilde’s gossamer-fine art.

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