Traffic lanes, the soffit around a busy street corner, the exterior wall of a school building halfway up a hill, a soccer field, and a ramp next to a hospital – these are where we conducted our experiments with the images of the dreams. We were slightly stimulated at first and got rather emotional afterward. It was a little unexpected but we were quite happy.
It was wonderful to see the links being formed between the participants and their thoughts develop as we proceeded with the project. One attendee of the Wanchai Dreams Resume Workshop at Night started recording her dreams after it was over. Some participants reflected on things they had never thought of before. Another one managed to express at ease what she had been ruminating on these two years. I was amazed at what the participants had gained from the project.
At 10 pm, we “respectively” walked along Kennedy Road covered in shadows of trees and yellow light. Looking straight ahead, we could see western-style buildings and the living rooms of a Chinese-style tenement building. As we arrived at a soccer field, we saw a middle-aged man on rollers while listening to someone recounting her dream of soaking her feet in a soccer-field-turned swimming pool after rain. It struck us as a coincidence we were unable to describe. My most impressive experience was hearing participants’ narration of their life experiences. Our separate but concurrent Walk was, now I come to think of it, a rare moment of peace, and since the road was mostly empty, the experience felt like a dream.
As we listened to the dreamers’ emotional narratives interspersed with their memories at the locations mentioned, the scenes of their daily lives unusually flew in and out of our minds. The restrictions we experienced in the event and the private, unexpectedly depressing speeches echoed our experiences in the Wanchai community.
I always believe that like our instincts, our dreams come from our life experiences and subconscious mind. Drawing and speaking about them help us better confront these experiences and our subconscious emotions. We discovered ourselves in the Workshop and the Walk and then shared with others what we got in the process. This is an inside-to-outside experience. Dream Wanchai has not ended yet. It is under reorganisation to engage more interested individuals in painting their dreams that unveil a bigger picture of the community.
There truly are people who dreamt of visiting Wanchai!
I started collecting dreams in May 2021. Later on, I worked with some of the dreamers to visually represent their dreams and had them imagine what they would have done differently had they re-experienced them. The events brought to light many people’s life experiences in Wan Chai. The participants also talked about their memories of the area and their connections with it.
Now, you can go through the process differently. You will visit the same places, but you will harvest disparate experiences as you view them from different angles. Now imagine what you would think if you listened to some people’s emotional accounts of their dreams in places that exist both in reality and in dreams.