Towards the end of 2006, Karam conceived The Cloud for the city of Dubai. Instead of intervening in the streetscape, he envisaged a landscape-in-the-sky for the city’s residents, in the form of and inspired by his concept of a cloud. While still on the drawing board as a project, it became a fertile source of stories and metaphors in his work, spawning a major body of drawings, paintings, sculptures and exhibitions.
The amorphous immateriality and unreachability of the cloud embodies for Karam both a “dream and the resilience of the human mind”; intangible but present, and entirely indestructible. In much of his work it cohabits with its flip side, smoke; the sign of destruction and suffering, specifically in reference to the conflict affecting most of the Middle Eastern region. Although polar opposites, clouds and smoke are visually almost indistinguishable, a dichotomy that Karam enjoys playing with in his work. Between the blurred lines of various political agendas, between appearances, perceptions and reality, he alludes that there is a universality to be found.
Increasingly, Karam’s concept of the cloud gained in complexity; from being the ultimate space of freedom from where the Fisherman fished for skyscrapers, it began keeping company with the Thinker‘s Chair, the Running Couple and The Elephant. Thoughts, escape and memories now mingled with the dream, ultimately morphing into Karam’s next body of work; Stretching Thoughts.