Liminal Dreams

Series of three 3D Renders


I want to start by painting a picture, a mental state for us to step into. It is the opposite of the experience of waking up from a long and sweet dream. Instead, let us dive into a dream-state of interconnected images rooted in our past, present, and future. In my most recent solo exhibition An Odyssey of Dreams and Memories, I integrated Virtual Reality to recreate my recurring dreams into a visual narrative using 3D rendering technology. For this work, I invited the audience to try on the VR headset and explore concepts regarding human longings, while playing with the notion of what is real and what is fantasized in our memory. I am interested in experimenting with the way our subconscious mind presents fragments of our identity through symbolic images and metaphorical plots in our dreams.

I immigrated to Canada from Tehran, Iran, with my family at the age of twelve. On the verge of turning into a teenager, I began facing identity crisis due to the language barrier that I experienced in my daily life, and struggled with the notion of belonging to a sense of “place.” The sudden detachment from my native homeland and being placed in a foreign environment tore apart my sense of reality, and my pre-conceived notion of identity was suddenly taken away from me. Everything turned into a hazy dream, and I still cannot distinguish between what once was and how I imagine it to be.  For many years after my immigration to Canada, I suffered from periods of depression, which was related to the feeling of being displaced and dissociated from my surrounding environment. Like many patients suffering from distress, “escaping” became an important part of my life, and dreaming turned into an extension of my reality, both in literal and metaphorical sense. Any method that could take my mind away from this world into an imagined realm became intriguing to me, such as the world of art and cinema, video games, virtual reality, and the actual practice of dreaming. I began experiencing visions that felt as vivid as the waking life, and all my senses became activated in my dreams, such as the ability to feel texture and heat, or hear and remember music. I started wondering: what distinguishes real-life experiences from dreams, memories, and imagination? 

My recent practice involves working with 3D software technology and virtual reality to construct a space/environment which blurs the line between reality and fantasy. I focus my work on subjects regarding abstraction and re-imagination of experiences and environments, while experimenting with conceptual ideas inspired by Magical Realism.