Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Artist Statement: Mark Wong Wenwei & Elizabeth Lim

 I was Dreaming in the Past, and My Heart was Beating Fast

We have set up a chamber that revisits 1950s Singapore, a nascent society in pre-statehood, young but vibrant with an uncertain future ahead of it. This was an age of lofty ideals, a generation of dreamers that found themselves meeting head-on with repression, creating historical junctures of trauma at the birth of a nation. Can a dream go too far?

We attempt to access the dreams of a forgotten generation via a light and sound installation, transporting the audience into the physical act of dreaming. The chamber creates an immersive environment of recurrent sound and visual imagery unhinged from rational control. As a window into our unconsciousness, dreams are encodings of latent desires and fears. As the unconscious mind is unable to communicate through a verbal language, it relies on both universal and personal symbols and imagery to signal psychological states.

The title of the work highlights the vast differences between the ideals of the past and our present realities. While the activists of the 1950s were stirred by common purpose and dreamt as a community, the present generation is often said only to indulge in navel gazing and personal gratification. The work implicitly raises questions about the future and what our generation’s dreams are.

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