Dreams of the Amnesiac


Artist Statement

This body of work is about my feeling of forgetting. Sometimes I cannot remember my dream after waking up, even though I know I had a dream and I try to recall it very much. What I remember is only a feeling or mood from the dream without visual evidence. I try to imagine things, or people’s faces as the keywords that might have been in the dream. However, there is only a mood of mystery, melancholia, nostalgia, or happiness remaining in my mind; as if I remember the smell of a particular food, but I do not remember what the food could be at all. In such occasions, I feel as if my memories and dreams are trapped in a “drawer” of my subconscious mind and I cannot find a “key” to open it and to see inside, where there would be something important for myself. I imagine that people who have amnesia must feel something like that all the time. I once had a chance to ask a question to a psychologist who studies dreams, “Do amnesiacs have dreams of their old memories?” The psychologist answered me, “Yes. They have such dreams, but they never remember what they dreamt about.”

Through this project, I tried to express my own feelings of a forgotten, unknown memory, imagining an atmosphere of dream visions that would never have remained in an amnesiac’s memory. Exploring the feeling of forgetting might not be as valuable as focusing on exploring the feeling of remembering in our lives. However, recognizing the existence of forgetting, as a part of the workings of the mind, might set us free from our own “mind drawers”.

Reiko Imoto