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"The boundary between viewer and art dissolves in Ho Tzu Nyen’s sublime work, The Cloud of Unknowing. Step inside and find a comfortable space in the room. On a screen, a narrative unfolds, set in a public housing complex in Singapore, where eight characters in eight apartments individually encounter a cloud, embodied both as a figure and a vaporous mist. The film is rear-projected and looped, integrating a complex soundtrack and synchronized steam machines to create a seamless and sublimely atmospheric sense of film/audience permeability."
"The immersive audio and visual installation in Venice is titled after a fourteenth century mystical treatise on faith, where the cloud is paradoxically a metaphor, for both an impediment to, and reconciliation with, the unknown or the divine experience. Referencing Hubert Damisch’s A Theory of /Cloud/: Toward a History of Painting, where Damisch describes the cloud as “one of the most valued oneiric themes,” Ho’s artwork is a visual exegesis of the subject of the cloud, that is the fleeting meteorological inspiration of Constable’s cloud studies; that represents transcendence, distinguishing the sacred from the earthly in the artworks of Tintoretto, Correggio and Francisco de Zurbarán; and that is characterised by transience, and resists representation in Chinese landscape painting. Just as the amorphous forms above rouse the imagination and are vehicles for hallucination, The Cloud of Unknowing, performs the role of mechanism and medium for the recollection of representations of the cloud in art.
Set in a deserted, low-income public housing block in Singapore, Ho’s Cloud presents scenes of eight characters in eight apartments, each in an encounter with the cloud, that alternates between being embodied as a figure, and as a vapourous mist. In the moment of encounter, a shift, transformation or illumination occurs that, as the medieval text counsels, is effected in a direct experience of the senses, instead of being understood with the mind."
Documentation of Installation: The Cloud of Unknowing by Ho Tzu Nyen