Clouds have always been a source of fascination and wonder. They are ethereal, gentle, and often seen as a sign of good luck. But an art installation by Vincent Leroy is taking cloud obsession to a whole new level. Called “Metacloud,” this installation features a cloud that looms ominously over everything in sight. Whether it’s our homes, our offices, or the streets we walk on, this cloud is impossible to ignore. And while it may not have anything to do with the metaverse, it’s certainly got people talking!
Clouds are amorphous by nature, but one designer wants to transform them into something we can perceive and even touch, piquing our senses and intellect with a building that appears both heavenly from afar yet also a bit frightening up close.
This cloud, which is both a cloud and not one simultaneously, resembles an actual cloud in its appearance. Unlike a genuine fog, this cloud-shaped artwork would float above streets, descending low enough to be reached by hand, composed of thin curved blades rather than water droplets.
The Metacloud appears to be based on contrasts, looking light and airy yet being tangible and confining. It hovers just above the ground, freely moving but unable to break free from reality’s grip. The moire pattern is both beautiful and vertiginous, manipulating our perceptions as well as our emotions. It’s located in the midst of one of Japan‘s busiest cities while going about its business without a care in the world.
The overlapping blades create a moire visual effect, which gives the impression of an optical illusion. The Metacloud is transparent, yet parts of the picture are hidden by the blades, forcing your mind to fill in the blanks. It’s as if you’re trapped in the Twilight Zone, continually moving between what is and isn’t. It combines both frightening and fascinating qualities.
Designer Vincent Leroy intended to elicit enthrallment and delight by utilizing such images. The Metacloud wants to rouse us from our daily slumbers while still segueing between the real world and dreamland, as cities like Tokyo have “dozed off with confinement” in the past years. Whether you call it a dream or a night terror is a personal decision, and it’s the sort of perplexing thinking that the art installation was designed to elicit.