Teaching Materials - Exercise

Cloud experiment

Name of Artist Educator: Ho Man Kei, Vik Lai
Excercise Category: Visual storytelling

Look up to the sky. To the cloud.

Concept / Inspiration:

Look up to the sky. To the cloud.

The instructors found out that the students always looked towards the sky and white clouds from their photos. They asked why they always looked up to the sky. To the cloud? Clouds are all the same anyways and everyone has their own desire. Can we all have the same cloud or to own it?

Rene Magritte, a cloud-related surrealism artist drew the cloud that we all know. This shortened the distance between human and the reality in dreams. Alfred Stieglitz, an American photographer who had shot a series of clouds in “Equivalent”and announced that everyone should have their rights and power to appreciate clouds.

Cloudscape, an art piece by Lorna Simplson, an American photographer. She juxtaposed a dirge of white clouds and people. Also, Berndnaut Smilde placed a cloud in an exhibition in order to create experiences and memories of happiness.


To allow students to try creating the clouds and practise photography skills.

Materials / Equipment:

  • Camera
  • Dry ice
  • Water
  • Soap



Workshop Description:

Part One | What is cloud?

  1. Students have to write down the definition and related poems of cloud and also any other things that would come to their mind. Stick it on the board and share with the classmates.
  2. Group discussion: imagine that there is a cloud in front of you, how would you interact with it?


Part Two | How to use that cloud?

  1. Melt the dry ice into fume with water, so that the students could take pictures of it. When the time they shoot the fumes, they could adjust the aperture, shutter, ISO value. This is to allow the students to experience differences when they shoot the clouds with different skills.
  2. After that, students have to investigate the ways of making clouds with the dry ice in order to extend the existing time of the cloud. Some of them tried to store the cloud while some others pour the soap water onto the dry ice.
  3. Students can make use of the ‘cloud’ freely and shoot a photo after playing with the cloud in their preferred way.


Note 1: There is certain danger in this exercise. It is not recommended for the teacher and students to try it themselves. Above all, this practise aims to encourage the students to follow their passion curiosity of some particular objects and events. Teacher can redesign the theme and the content again according to students’preference.

Expected Outcome:

The focus of the practice is to match up with the curiosity of the students. In light of this, the teacher is encouraged to organise different activities to encourage the students to further extend their curiosity towards different objects and events. Therefore, teacher could adjust the theme and contents for the lesson according to the preference of the students in order to help students find their motivation to get involved.

Actual Outcome:

Part One “What is Cloud?” free association:

Part Two “How to use that cloud?”

Some students attempted to put the cloud in the mid-air. But they found out only when it should be placed in certain environment and space would there be imagination and narrative. Some played as Sun Wukong bouncing on the cloud. Some hugged the cloud like embracing their dreams.


Student work:

Ming Ho



Student Feedback:

“This is the first time to make a cloud by myself. This exercise stimulate our creativity.”

“I like my own cloud. I was so excited when I found out the tricks of how to make it.”

“When the cloud is set in a daily life occasion, it is the most dramatic .It looks like there is a fairy coming for you .”

Reference Materials:

Berndnaut Smilde﹕

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