The Trouble with Being a Cloud

porcelain, thread, wire mesh screen
10’h x 6’w x 6’d
2011

There is an ancient Chinese legend that tells of children, when they are born, being connected by invisible red threads to those destined to be in their lives. This installation is inspired by that Red Thread Legend, though the central idea manifests not so much in a romantic soulmate fashion, but instead as a metaphor for ‘fated-ness’ in being.

Both raindrops and clouds are forms of water, and though they may change state over and over again, ultimately they are one and the same. The rain is a part of the cloud, and the cloud cannot help but rain, just as we cannot help but be who we are, constantly letting go of and reclaiming parts of ourselves in the process.

Up close and inside, a cloud is nearly unrecognizable as an intangible collection of water vapor. It is only with some distance and perspective that the cloud takes form and comes into view. The quiet, frozen moment in this piece offers a poetic image of the tragic beauty of being, capturing its ephemeral, cloud-like nature and offering a glimpse of innate internal connections that are all but fleeting.

-Elaine K. Ng