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Not All Dreams are Dreams
By Joseph Chiang
5 September 2015 - 6 October 2015 (Reception: 4 September 2015)
Set in a contemporary style of pop surrealism with a distinct self-taught aesthetic, these traditional linocut prints and graphite drawings are derived from a series of personal dreams and the subconscious, drawing influences from popular culture such as from comics, graphic novels and pop art, while juxtaposing these against references to familiar images in surrealism.
The figures in these works are suspended in a fantasy dream world of the bizarre and the uncanny, full of wonder and whimsy. Referencing Dali’s melting clock image in the master’s surrealist works, time is constantly fluid and slipping in this dream fugue. The boy protagonist evokes a child-like sense of imagination and wonder, free and untethered to fixed interpretations and even the body, as childhood innocence is pitted against mysterious recesses welling up from the deep. A symbol of life and the unconscious, the fish figure acts as an emblem of a disquieting exploration seeking to dive beneath the surface of reality into its underlying structures and spiritual order, dancing between worlds while hinting at the realm of transcendence. But any attempt to reach an idealised unity and whole is often frustrated, as the real remains ineffable and fragmented.
In playing with archetype and presenting the same figures over different pieces, the artist imbricates layers of meaning and creates a dialogue via difference and repetition in these works. Through the suspension of everyday reality, these works daringly propose a radical openness to construction and the subconscious, and in so doing, extend through the mirror a very personal offer to partake in the same freedom in interpretation for the viewer.