The lost paradise

The lost paradise

Wingshan Cao

Dreams can be exciting, disquieting, or strange. Even though we don’t remember it , we all dream. From ancient times to the present, people have never stopped exploring dreams. For me, dream is abstract, unpredictable and brings endless possibilities. Besides, what I find most interesting is that when we dream, we believe that the scene in dreams is real, and when we wake up, we believe that the world we see is real. Base on that, I think dream and reality have a very special relationship. Because it is abstract, it fascinates me even more.

In this project, I explore the relationship between dream and reality via space design. Through the analysis of the books related to dreams to understand the questions in detail of what dreams are? Why we dream? What is the meaning of dreams relate the reality ? Which specific factors change the space in dreams? to understand the relationship between dream and reality firstly. In addition, this project explores those issues in a visual way, for example, drawing diagrams of dreams and use the video to present my research on dream. The purpose of the project is to visualise the abstract dreams through investigation and analysis, so that more people can pay attention to the relationship between dreams and reality, learn to re-assess dreams and discover the importance of the ‘self ‘ which existing in dreams.

Dreams, sir,’ said the cautious Penelope,’are awkward and confusing things: not all that people see in them comes true. For there are two gates through which these insubstantial visions reach us; one is of horn and the other of ivory. Those that come through the ivory gate cheat us with empty promises that never see fulfilment; while those that issue from the gate of burnished horn inform the dreamer what will really happen.’

Form Homer‘s Odyssey

Freud and Jung are the critical figures in the field of dream Interpretation. They formed two major schools. In my opinion, I prefer Jung’s theory. His research is more compatible than Freud’s. For example, he believes that dream is the natural product of the soul. In other words, dream is a self-describing symbol. This is confirmed by the observation that animals also dream and human babies dream both in the womb and at birth. His theories can be tested by experiments, but many of Freud’s Dream-based studies prove unreliable to me. However, Freud has provided important researches for the later dream researchers.

For the later development of these two schools, the views of both sides are quite different. The Freudian school’s interest in the study of dreams has gradually diminished, and the later analysis has deviated from the interpretation of dreams. However, the Jung’s school still focuses on dreams. They believe that dreams can be reflected in the relationship established in the spirit, which further proves that Freud’s theory cannot explain the various phenomena of dreams, rather than the meaninglessness of dreams themselves.

In fact, EGO is an important factor connecting reality and dream. In addition, the creatures in the dream is related to our experience in the real world. Most of the time, things that cannot be realised in reality will come true in dream. In the real world, each of us is a person with identity, and these identity tags are given by others. Most of time we have to restraint ourselves and gradually lose EGO. However, in dream, we can release ourselves and find the EGO. In dreams, there is no specific direction, no specific route, but every place is a self-discovery, we may be lost in it, but in that can find the most authentic EGO. Therefore, the title The lost paradise.

This space is the scene where people begin to dream after they fall asleep. As I found in my previous research, I noticed that REM sleep was a phenomenon when we were dreaming, in other word, I found that when we were dreaming, our eyes kept moving. Just like Jayne Leonard (2017) points out that during sleep, the brain moves through five different stages. One of these stages is rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During this phase, the eyes move rapidly in various directions. So when we sleep, our eyes are keeping moving at the same time, which means we are dreaming.

Therefore, I show the process of eye movement in this space. In addition, the height and the shape of the entrance is different, because everyone has different ways to enter the world of dream, which is also reflected in my illustrations.

Beside that, there are many heads floating on the water in this space. If you can observe them carefully, it is not difficult to find that they have no eyes. It’s like a procedure in which the human consciousness enters the dream, and the eyes are pulled out form the human’s heads to keep moving, which also means that we are in the dream. Strange elements appearing in the painting are related to dreams. As K Shabi (2013) points out, if The Persistence of Memory depicts a dream state, the melting and distorted clocks symbolise the erratic passage of time that we experience while dreaming. Therefore, I extracted the clocks as the element form this painting. Time has become an important object of expression and it is also an element of my previous research. According to my investigation, time is the same no matter in reality or dream. However, because our perceptions can be affected when we dream, it makes us feel that one minute in reality equal to one day in dream. (link:


What is a dream? Humans say that it is a container, a spiritual container filled with the depth thoughts of their hearts. Dream belongs to ourselves, even if it can be described, it is a self-dominant world, others cannot feel the same of it. The heart opens thoroughly in the dream, and the unique perception constitutes the ego. What is a dream? Humans say that it is surreal, parallel to the real world, also it is a bridge to connect our world and the multidimensional space of the universe.

For me, dream and reality are two parallel worlds. Only at the certain time every night, the door which connects those two worlds can be opened. Another “ME” outside the real world, in fact, is living in dream. Dream is a mirror of the inner heart. It is another illusory but also real life experience. Aristotle, the ancient Greek wise men, interpreted human dreams in De Insomniis and De Divinatione per Somnum, he believed that dreams are neither oracles of God nor features of God, they are “devils” because nature belong to “devils” and not to the gods.Regard to this, I think the mean of the word “devil” is mysterious, it is a real nature that tears away the disguise of reality. Also it exists not only in nature, but also in everyone’s heart, which requires us to explore and think of it. This is also the id, ego and superego in Freud’s psychoanalysis.

When I visualise the dream at the end of my project, it is also a dream composed of many scenes, each scene has a small story behind it. Furthermore, when I did the research of space, I noticed that my understanding of the space in dream is not enough, it not only just the form of the space : parallel, staggered and upside down, but also from the size. Because ourselves are the main element in this space, through the change of our own size or the size of object.

In fact, what happens in a dream is like a myth. As Joseph Campbell points out “A myth is a public dream, a dream is a private myth.” In dreams, you can talk to God, ghosts and meet the favourite stars. What cannot be achieved in reality is realised in dreams sometimes. In dreams, night and day can occur at the same time, personal emotions can also change the surrounding environment, high-rise buildings can also disappear unexpectedly , or be suddenly built. In addition, in a space of dream, there are somethings that you are always familiar with in the real life, such as tables in the classroom, small toys at home, or some daily necessities. Based on my personal experience and related research on dreams, I found that the space in dreams is changeable, so I made the animation to express the space in dream, so that can be more vivid. At the same time, people can pay more attention to their dreams and their self-expression in dreams through my project.




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