Despite the interpretation of dream can be regarded as

Despite of the fact that there was extensive literature on
the subject of dreams before Freud introduced theories of dream, he made the
dream into a legitimate tool for his analysis, creating a theory of dreams and
a technique for interpreting them (Storr, 1989). In the Freud’s museum located in 20 Marshalfield, London, there is the most iconic
pieces of furniture. The couch as in Image 1 helped creating an environment
that was clinical yet intimate, allowing a patient to freely explore ideas, and
it helped Freud to work for his psychoanalysis. It was said that patients often
talked about dreams whilst they lay on the couch engaging in free association. In
regard to this, Freud described the dream-work include these three processes;
displacement, representation and symbolisation (Storr, 1989).  Essentially, there is a process of combining
different ideas and images together into a single image. Within the process, displacement
refers to some disturbing image or idea replaced by something connected but
less disturbing, whilst representation indicates thoughts converted into visual
images. And symbolisation means some neutral object stands for, or refers to,
some aspect of sexual life or those persons connected with it (Storr, 1989).
This tends to imply dreams are disguised by the meanings behind. Further to it,
Freud introduced the term ‘manifest content’ to describe the recalled stories
of the dreamer, and in contrast, ‘latent content’ was hidden indicating the
true meanings behind (Storr, 1989).


In relation to this, Freud
developed theories of the mind, where he used the analogy of an iceberg to
describe the three different levels of the human mind. The surface indicates
the consciousness, which consists of the thoughts and focus of our attention,
and this is seen as the tip of the iceberg. The preconscious indicates all that
can be retrieved from memory. The third and the most significant region is the
unconscious. The unconscious is understood as the real cause of most behaviour.
Just like an iceberg, what can be seen is regarded as the most important part
of the mind yet Freud emphasised the importance of the unconscious mind, as it
governs human behaviours to a greater degree than many may suspect (McLeod,
2013). The goal of psychoanalysis to Freudian studies is to make
the unconscious conscious, and the interpretation of dream can be regarded as
the best way to achieve the goal.

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Freud Museum and ELP exhibition

“There was a bowl of soup, that was being grown
and it formed a skin and there was a zipper appeared, and I was like wow look
at that! And I took out and it was bubbling like a cheese. I pulled the zipper
opened and it turned into a jacket. The lining of jacket had a beautiful seam
on it. If I buy a cloth, I would buy and customise it and put a pocket on it.”
(W.G. Ho in an audio interview)


The exhibition (3 March 2011- 10 April 2011) held in Freud Museum in London
consisted 60 printmaking artists associated with the studio East London
Printmakers. The theme was inspired by dreams and subconscious, and there were
exclusive interviews by a psychotherapist Judith Symons with a few artists. One
of the interview sessions, with a British artist Wuon Gean Ho, was quiet
intriguing in a way that the artist vividly explained about her dreams to the
psychotherapist and how her artworks were being produced based on her dreams. The
process resembled the process of how Sigmund Freud may have counselled his
patients on the couch, and the session somehow made the reappearance of the
historical scene into the present. Whilst the psychotherapist was actively linking
with artists’ artworks and dreams through constant conversations in between,
she seemed to be working as an observer encouraging the artist to freely
express the stories. Also, the psychotherapist was 

constantly asking the actual
memories of the artists, and the interviews kept going on through overlapping
boundaries between the reality from the actual memories and the imaginary
scenes from dreams that the artist shared.


The artist, Wuon Gean Ho, often adopts fantastical dreams in many of her
artworks. One of her prints, ‘Shadow boy / Shadow girl’ (2017) as in Image 2,
show parts of an animated video as well as some of the printed versions in
multiple series. There is a boy and a girl in the frame, and they wear clothes
from 1850s. They are in the darkness, and their expressions appear to be serious
as they get older and the prints colour fade away slowly. Here, the artist
seems to have depicted dream-like portraits imagining of a ghostly place where
she was staying at the time of creating the artworks. She located the boy and
the girl at a time when artist did not even exist, portraying
their lives in a series of prints. The motif of artwork seems to be largely
about the unconscious and dreams which bring a poetic resonance to the viewer.
The artistic medium, print making itself, use two contrasts as black and white
and it somewhat creates dreamy scenes; it is not the closest medium to express
the most realistic scene nor does not have colours to convey layers of
emotions. In a way, it became intriguing to know how the unconscious level of
artistic background she showed through interview session became a platform to create such uncanny works of art. 

inventions and artistic inspirations have had their source in dreams. For
instance, the sawing machine had its origin from dream. The machine in Image 3
is the very first sewing machine that was mostly used for domestic purposes. It
was originally invented by Elias Howe after adopting technological development
in 1845, yet it looks very different from current form sewing machines. Prior to the launch of the lock stitch machine
he previously tried to launch alternate versions without great success.