Some of the best installation work can make you believe, even for a split second, that you have entered another world, or a place totally alien or unfamiliar. Artists have made naturally occurring phenomena like clouds appear in a gallery setting using a handful of tactics, but this work by Kohei Nawa uses foam to achieve it’s cloud-like effervescence.
The installation reads like a greyscale landscape of primordial ooze, with mountain-like ridges and valleys suspended on a layer of black sand. It’s lit in such a way that some portions of the foam take on the appearance of clouds, while some remain ambiguous, melting blobs.
All Images: Foam, 2013. Mixed media. Photo by Nobutada Omote, courtesy of SANDWICH.
Tetsuo Kondo Architects teamed up with a German climate engineering firm called Transsolar to create this, an indoor atmosphere complete with clouds. They managed this feat by pumping three layers of air into the room: “cool dry air at the bottom that keeps the cloud floating, hot humid air in the middle to fashion a dense fog and hot dry air at the top.” The project’s creators also decided to include a circular ramp so visitors can walk through the clouds above them. This reminds me of Damien Hirst‘s claim that someday he would find a way to create an indoor rainbow in a gallery (I’m not sure he’s been able to pull it off yet). Either way, it’s pretty amazing how much this indoor atmosphere changes the room’s perceived size.