I got inspiration for the assignment one day on the MRT, as I was watching a man (dressed in a neatly pressed white shirt and a tie, with an office bag by his feet) type furiously away at his laptop. While assuming that this man was headed for work and settling work related issues on his laptop, I wondered if this man was happy with his career and his life, and whether he had dreams of his own.
As children, we were fearless and had big, unrealistic dreams. I realised, as we grow older, reality starts to kick in and our dreams get smaller and smaller, and also more down to earth. I remembered, as a young girl, I’ve once dreamed that I could become a princess, and I would then be able to wear beautiful dresses everyday, be able to sit at a nice table to sip tea from a porcelain cup, and can also own many dresses and shoes, just like my dolls. Being one of the clearer childhood dreams I can remember, I decided to use a doll as the inanimate object as it represents childhood, innocence and children’s fearlessness towards dreaming. At the same time, the doll’s body is also very stiff and rigid, signifying the obstacles we have had as children while trying to attain out dreams.
I have decided to present my image through still photography, and through this image, I’m trying to portray the lost of unfulfilled childhood dreams (and hence the lost of innocence) of the working class, but at the same time reminding the audience that there’s still hope as long as they have the courage to chase their dreams again. This piece can be placed along the corridors of an office, as the intended audience are the working adults that have already given up on their dreams and have accepted the monotonous hum of their careers. This would allow the audience to reflect on their own experiences with dreams and allow them to gain courage and harbour new ideas and excitement towards life. This image has an emotional content, appealing to the audience’s innate desire of who they want to be and their desire to achieve their forgotten dreams.
The dreamcatcher and background with many pages of disney princess’s storybooks serves as the signifier of the image. The dreamcatcher signifies the good childhood dreams we once had. The background made up of pages of the fairytales such as Cinderella, The Sleeping Beauty and The Beauty and The Beast reminds the audience that although their childhood has gone past (their time to fulfil their childhood dreams is over), they still have hope as long as they have the courage to pick up the ‘glass slipper’ (just like the Prince in ‘Cinderella’) and search for its’ owner.