Project III: For Healing, Dream On

In this project, I planned to make four albums about four different cities (I ended up just making one of them) where I have lived for years. In each album, I am going to play a role that comes from another time and space, and position him or her to the time period of that city that I am familiar with or longing for, and talk about or imagine the dreams. 

This project is about:

  • Dream – a way of healing people’s inner world
  • My own memories about cities
  • Nostalgia


This project started with a dream I had last month during the period I was doing psychological counseling. in a word, In my dream,  because I turn back to look for someone and then I fell into swamp. My therapist interpretated it for me. She said I was getting better, but I should move on and never look back. I think that dream altered me. 

Our dreams have a lot of functions. Sometimes your trauma appears in your dream, it may directly bring healing effects – alertness, prediction, imitation. But sometimes trauma appears in ambiguous form. The scientist said it might be from intergenerational inheritance. For example, the offspring of people who have experienced war may dream of war scenes or people who died due to war in their dreams, but they have not experienced war. 


To interpret Beijing in my mind, I choose my grandmother (in her thirties) to be the dreamer to go to 2010s Beijing (when I was spending my undergraduate life there). 

When I was finding inspiration of this, I was browsing my grandmother’s album, she wrote about her experience of travelling to Beijing. In 1968, China was going through a violent sociopolitical purge movement called The Cultural Revolution. In that year, my grandmother escaped from her hometown and took my mother to the city (near Beijing) where my grandfather worked, for refuge. In a weekend, they went to Beijing for a short travel. But my grandparents lost my mother in one of the largest shopping malls. After an extremely anxious searching, they found my mother in a counter. 

My grandmother wrote about her experience went to Beijing in 1960s

My memory of Beijing cannot be separated from the four years of university life that happened in 2010s. It was the most comfortable and free time in my life.

My keywords of Beijing:

  • Leisure time
  • The self
  • Rock music
  • Art gallery and museum
  • Youth
  • Red


Then I connected my experience of a city and my grandmother’s experience of that city and to see what was going to happen. And after a series of exploration, I realized some of my dreams were similar with my grandmother’s experience when she was young, and were also like some of her dreams she is still having nowadays. 

I remember the other day my mother said to me that my grandmother had a dream, in that dream she and my grandfather were searching for something, they don’t know what actually they are searching for. I think it has something to do with her current mood and her experience when she was young.

My grandma also shared with me her experience when she was escaping from her hometown. Her friend was riding a tricycle, and she holding my mother hiding under a big overcoat in case someone notice she was on the tricycle. And when I was doing this project, I suddenly thought of I always dream about I am hiding from someone’s chasing. And sometimes I will become myself a object like a ball, in case other people recognize me.

Your dream is connected to your ancestor’s experience

Dreamer’s Album

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