There have been nights when I felt like I was constantly on the verge of sleep but could never quite reach the tilting point. The whole time my mind kept drifting, and sometimes I would wake up not knowing what was real or just a product of my imagination. I wanted to reflect this in a series of photographs by merging a fantasy world with elements of familiarity, to create a space where reality and a dream state could coexist and intertwine with one another. I thought about this series as a snapshot into our minds as we go through the stages of sleep; it’s an exploration of my psyche while I’m in this state of mind that I’m not fully conscious of.
Stage 1 is when the mind is drifting. Stage 2 is a period of light sleep. Stage 3 consists of a deep sleep. Stage 4 is when your dreams are most vivid.
In my photographs, as each stage of sleep progresses, the body becomes more abstracted and the lighting becomes more dull in order to reflect the process of falling deeper into this dream state.
By Gioia Cheung