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Alina Cohen, ARTSY, May 7, 2020

It’s an excellent time for escapism, which Gao Yuan’s surreal short film Cloud of the Unknown (2019)—priced at $11,000 and available in an edition of seven with two artist proofs—delivers in heaps. It features a haunting soundtrack, flying spoons, a quiet shipping yard, empty streets, and a floating white hand that taps its way down a tree trunk and guides the solitary protagonist into fantastical new realms. The film’s uncanny animation similarly leads the viewer into a colorful new world. If the imagery is lonely, it’s also imbued with a sense of magic.


Capsule Shanghai is also featuring paintings ($7,000 apiece) by the young Chinese artist, many of which display settings from Cloud of the Unknown. The others represent images from a feature-length film Gao is currently working on. When painting and film work together, she said in a short documentary film in Capsule’s viewing room, you “see something really marvelous as a result.”