Since I studied film theory in Europe, I have been intrigued by the way neo-realist films seek to represent an ambiguous, to be deciphered, “real”, instead of aiming at an already deciphered “real”. Using real-life locations, non-professional actors, and digressive, documentary-like incidents, neo-realist films blurred the line between fiction and reality. Later when I turned to photography, I was immediately captivated by the medium’s special capacities to portray such ambiguity, to depict not only the purported “real” but also to render fictive states of being. It got me wondering, how can we transpose mental images into photographic language, especially the language of realistic representation?
My project “Dreams” was one of such attempts. It is essentially a work about inner life. In the project, I collaborated with mostly strangers to revisit and reconstruct their dream scenarios. In the process, we collectively tried to retrieve details of their dreams and made them as authentic as possible. I then gave my character ample space for reenactment whereby his or her innermost depths can be reached. At the same time the spectator is kept at a distance. For me, it is an elusive subjectivity that has the potential of bringing out all the reality which the imaginary or the mental create through an inner landscape of my characters.