'Dream of Lumos'
While I’ve spent my childhood living in a bustling and charming city, I’ve often woken up late at night and gazed at the scattered and vibrant city lights through my bedroom windows. The halos that appear radiate vibrance, happiness, and hope and ignited my passion for exploring life. My goal with this project was to delineate the ephemeral and fragmented moments of joy and imaginary emotional connections I see carried with lights, while delivering a sense of belonging and security to the lost dreamers. Capturing the city lights expands my perspective and scope of the world: it encourages me to sustain a grateful and curious mindset when persisting in my dream.
My intention was to create a warm feeling of holiday joy, because I believe that the best state to be in is when you’re happy with a clear mind. Once there, you can quickly and without realizing it, fall asleep snuggled under warm blankets that are so comforting during the cold brisk nights of winter, to dream a good dream.The blurriness in my photograph shows what people might see as they hurry and rush by to get home to their family. The many small colourful lights that shine brightly show the contrast between the dark and gloomy night and the brightness that awaits.
'Draw. Dream. Fly.'
Dreams connect to reality as fiction turns into fact. As children grow up, they start to explore their futures and what can truly bring them joy and happiness. The process may not be straightforward, but it often comes naturally. For me, drawing is a dream that I want to turn into reality. My photo is inspired by Carolyn Hampton’s “Childhood Dreams and Memories”; the long white dress turns a dreaming little girl into the princess she can be. It is set in the wilderness because here, fantasy can seem like reality, while strokes of magic bring worlds to life. The process of creating new and imaginary worlds using my own hands gave me the courage to dream. I hope to inspire viewers to follow their hearts since everyone is splendid as they are, and we should all have the right to dream.
I have always been afraid of the ocean. When I stare into the ocean, I feel scared and alone much like this buoy lost in the mist; drifting and not knowing what purpose it serves. Like myself and many other people, we’re afraid of the future because we are lost in the present. This buoy also represents something else; an unknown passion that once ignited will guide me through life. A light that I can follow to get me out of this mist.
In my art, I like to capture the beauty in landscapes of mountains and clouds that have sunlight coming through them. I was able to take this photo with a clear view. I used Photoshop to make some edits to the sunlight where the mountains are in the photo at the back, adding more contrast. You are wanting to explore the other world of that light coming from the clouds. It would be your dream to make your journey towards the light where the next world awaits, starting from the road in front of you.
My work captures my perspective of the pressure to conform to societal standards as a woman. Throughout my life, I have struggled with norms that tell me to suppress my emotions. As a coping mechanism, I have always turned to art as a form of catharsis. It is important to me that I raise awareness of issues that need to be discussed, such as the dream of eliminating gender stereotypes. As a teen in today’s society, gender expression has been the anchor for exploring my identity. In this piece, I focus on the personal impact of gender stereotypes; more specifically, the pressure to conform to these stereotypes. The subject is laying in cloudy water, symbolizing the struggle to act against societal norms. Subtle at first glance, my piece conveys how gender expression, despite being an important issue, is often overlooked in today’s society. I hope to continue using art as a way to start conversations about issues that are relevant and important to me.
Often, I find that when I wake up from my sleep, it’s hard to have a clear picture of exactly what I have dreamt about. Sometimes I have vivid memories of my dreams, but most of the time it is just a blurry and fuzzy scene. The inspiration for this picture came from a dream I had after I watched the movie “The Great Gatsby”. I would like people to share the same emotions and feelings as I did when looking at this picture, no matter if the feelings are sad, lonely or happy. To capture an aspect of my dream world, I wanted to find a location that had a retro vibe, that is calm at night, and where there are lots of lights on the streets. I’m not sure what everyone will see in this picture, but hopefully, some of you guys will also share the same outlook as me.
'The initial aspiration.'
My work is inspired by the cruelty of the reality that shatters people’s dreams. It emphasizes the importance of staying true to our aspirations and values. To express the purity in our dreams, a plain scrolled paper was put into a transparent bottle. It symbolizes the aspirations that are hidden in our hearts due to the fear of rejection or criticism from others. Although water generally has a positive connotation, it’s capable of drowning people. Just like how the comments from others could be constructive, yet could also be the key that breaks one’s dream. The water that splashes onto the bottle reflects how one’s dreams can be shattered because of the tendency to bend to others’ expectations. I placed the paper in the bottle to protect it as dreams should be protected and remained true to. Although the black background shows the darkness of reality, the goal of my work is to bring hope and warmth to my viewers and to allow the lights around the bottle to hearten them to pursue their dreams unreservedly.
'Dreaming to be Happy'
Dreams are many things, a dream to smile, a dream to die. People struggle with the thought of happiness on a day-to-day basis. It is important to talk about it so those who are struggling with mental health don’t feel alone. We have no idea what someone is going through; what someone might be thinking about, or what their dreams and ambitions are. Dreams, real or not, have many meanings behind them. Behind my photo are feelings of loneliness, and being lost. Real and raw. I did not do any post-processing on my photo to keep it as real as possible. The dream to be happy and not feel alone are dreams that everyone might want, but are hard to actually have.
“I want to be an astronaut!"
“I want to be an archaeologist!”
“I want to be Prime Minister!”
When we were in our childhood, we all had our own wild dreams. After all, boundless imagination is one of the key things that make children, well, children! However, as we grow older, these dreams fall to the wayside. We make compromises with ourselves and slowly shed our childhood innocence like how a snake sheds its skin. With this work, I aim to capture the juxtaposition of the dreams of our childhood and the reality we face in adulthood. I hope that it can remind people of the aspirations they once held, and perhaps rekindle some of them so that the child in them can still live on.
'When no one is watching.'
I love bringing childhood, playfulness and reality together into one image that makes the viewer question where and when the playful, fun, and adventurous side of the viewer began to disappear. For this image in particular I found inspiration from an old treehouse that I went to as a child. That beautiful treehouse from my childhood is now decaying and for me, represents the loss of playfulness and the shock of reality. When we dream things are often obscure, deranged, frightening and or magical, mystical and full of happiness but when we wake up we snap back into reality and the shock of everyday life hits us. After seeing the state of my old childhood treehouse was in I decided to include dark blue, pink, and light blue smoke bombs in the image, to show that even when things fall apart there is still beauty hidden within.
Jeremy Gaoxing Xu
For my work, I wanted to reflect on the unpredictability of dreams. We can have vivid memories of dreams that reflect the events and emotions we experience in our life, and the dreams that don't make sense often get forgotten in our memory. For me, none of the individual parts of my photo connect or make sense. The dark theme, with vivid and bright colours, and the lit-up umbrella don't intrude on any emotions. The image isn't scary, it's not happy, it's not anything. I wanted to create the sense of just sitting back and seeing images that our brain randomly generates. Even though our dreams don't make sense from time to time, they can still be beautiful just to look at. It's quite nice when something doesn't exist for a purpose..
Hawaii is my dream place to live, it's a very relaxing place. I took this picture from the Dole Plantation Train when visiting the Tanda Reservoir in Hawaii. This illusory picture makes me feel relaxed. My placement of the sunbeam shining from the top of a tree on a lazy cat lying on a suspended fluffy is inspired by the Korean artist Kanghee Kim whose use of color is very dreamy, and her placement of clouds in the composition adds a layer of surrealism to her work. I would like the work to invoke miracles in the viewer’s imagination instead of waiting for miracles to happen after seeing the work.
Dreams, whether big or small, stimulate our imagination and ambitions. Dreams have provided me with a way to detach myself from the stress of everyday life and become immersed in a vision that I can create for myself. Following my dreams is of great importance to me. Despite not knowing what my future holds, I am confident that by following my aspirations, I will live a fulfilling life. My composition aims to convey the beauty and importance of dreams. My model’s immersion in her dreams is expressed through a floating sensation. The finished product results in a blurred line between fantasy and reality, similar to that of dreams. I would like my composition to provide the viewer with an escape from reality and space to reflect on the importance of their own dreams..
'Curiosity in an Unrealistic World'
All humans in the world may have experienced getting mysterious feelings when they wake up from a strange or uncanny dream. I think that it’s because the dreams look unrealistic even though they see situations or objects that are familiar to them, such as a bathtub and a door. In fact, dreams are created by randomly stitching together memories of what people have actually seen, heard and experienced. People wouldn't think of drinking bathtub water when they’re thirsty. Or viewers might guess that the person reaching out the door has a desire to go to a different world even if it is unknown and strange. These humans’ psychological senses and mechanisms of dreaming motivated me to reflect on them in a photograph. My work uses the technique of collage, which relates to the way humans recollect and figure out the intention of unrealistic dreams, like fitting the pieces of a puzzle together.
With the pandemic going on for two years now, we have all felt a strong surge of loneliness and unrest in this distressing time. I want to bring a sense of comfort to the audience through the exploration of childhood dreams. I greatly value and cherish my childhood memories; they act as a shelter through tough times and when I feel down. The plushies and flowers in yellow and white represent childhood simplicity and the positive energy we possess as children. The tree painting above the plushies symbolizes protection and security. There are three bottles with optimistic labels to the right; the legos inside make up the 11:11 clock, which is a common time to make a wish. The girl is wishing upon that time, with all the joyous recollections from early youth supporting her. I want to inspire and comfort the audience through helping them recollect their early years. Even though not everyone had a fulfilling childhood, I hope to bring a sense of contentment and hope to the audience during the pandemic.