In my photo series A Dream Within a Dream, I addressed the issue of human escapism by creating a picture-perfect scene. To me, this means scrolling through social media, immersed in another person’s perfectly curated feed, or watching hours of shows and movies to distract myself from responsibilities. Instead of intensifying the human actuality or creating discomfort, escapist art reassures and consoles its viewers—it allows them to flee from the truth. As a way to fully understand the ways we escape, the images I created deliberately avoid unpleasantness and deeply controversial topics. I decided to make my own escapist art.
In the present, escapist tendencies have shifted to the internet and all of its glory. The modern existence contains a myriad of stresses, unpleasant truths, and injustices. From acute to global scales, humans are creating issues but not enough solutions. But the internet makes escaping easier than ever. Logging onto social media or online chat rooms can be a way for people to completely rework their identity. Video games and virtual reality continue to immerse dissatisfied humans in other worlds. The internet has become a place where people can be whomever they want, as well as watch, do, and interact with anything. The questions arise: is escapism harmful? Are these coping methods unhealthy and unproductive? Perhaps now is the time to acknowledge our problems before it becomes too late, instead of running away from them online. Thanks to the internet, everywhere can be a liminal place where we exist but are distracted. Hours spent immersed in the highlight reels of Instagram are the modern-day escapist literature which I chose to portray through a scene of pleasant perfection. A Dream Within a Dream reflects the idea that we are always dreaming, but willingly.
Modeled by Wilfredo, Ellia, Mark, and Tiffany
Styled by Love To All Project with Creative Direction by Koby Chen and Justin Li