|But...the clouds, photo d'Alex Chan, Monbetsu, Hokkaido, Japon, 2016|
The cloud-flags are not patriotic symbols, but raise questions about communities, national identity, cross-border flow and fraternity. Human realities and shared memory are at the heart of the artistic project.
Clouds, through their lightness and their movement, symbolize freedom. Clouds fascinate us as they are fleeting, intangible, almost immaterial. They deny the concrete and mundane. The image of clouds always takes us elsewhere, further away, beyond human borders, beyond that which forms the foundations of society (family, economy, religion, patriotism) in the same way as the outsider who is questioned in Charles Baudelaire’s poem. The outsider is a travelling man, with no ties. Asked about what he loves best, he rejects family, friends, homeland, beauty and wealth before concluding: “I love clouds….. clouds which pass … over there … the marvelous clouds!” Clouds embody freedom, they violate defined territories. Clouds act as a call towards infinity, beyond the borders established by mankind, whether they be real or symbolic borders.