Chenxin Cai

Dreams & Reality

Class of: 2024

Major: Fine Arts BFA

Medium: Video and research paper

Faculty: Joseph Colonna (Seminar) and Bryan Melillo (Studio)

Prompt: During 7 weeks, each of the students got to choose a theme and made relavant works in order to build up the final piece. My theme is “The Unconscious”, and the topic I focus on is “the borderland between dreams and reality and their mutual interactions”.

Using video as the medium, I try to explore the borderland between dreams and reality through my own dreamscape. Based on my understanding of the relationship between dreams and reality, I incorporated visuals and sounds to play with the idea of absorption and expression – absorbing in dreams and expressing in reality.

I invite the audience to tour in my dreams starting from falling into sleep, and in the meantime, to draw connections with their own dreams. Three main scenes are presented on split screens, one side is dreams and the other side is reality. The two sides are alike but different just like how dreams are reality are. I differ them through the nuance of lighting, actions, props, etc. When the work is displayed, the video will be projected on a wall and the props can be picked up by the audience to create an interactive experience.

The sounds consist of sleeptalking (me and other people), me narrating my dreams, ambient sounds, etc. They correspond with the visuals to disclose the dream experiences. Through this exploration of dreams and reality, I would like to address the mutual influence of the unconscious mind and the conscious mind, leaving the audience to think about how the two minds work together to shape themselves as humanity.