There are cities we visit and revisit in our dreams. Sometimes we recognize these cities from our waking life; sometimes an aspect of the dream will remind us of a city to which we have traveled in the past. Sometimes we wander the alleys and passageways of our dream with no idea where we may be, and even less notion of where we could possibly be going. At other times our dreaming consciousness knows precisely where we are, even as it understands that the city in our dream has nothing—nothing physically–in common with the city where we dream ourselves to be. Perhaps it is a city we have not seen for years and which, even then, looked nothing like the city we navigate in our dream. More often we recognize the dream-city only from the previous dreams in which we wandered that same unknown but strangely familiar city. We are lost there, just as we have lost our way so many times before. The streets turn and twist in the maze we recall. But if only we could remember how we found our way out the last time, or why precisely we were there, or where we were supposed to be, or where in the world we were going. And sometimes—this is the strangest thing, and the most difficult to explain—we may (in our waking lives) visit a city, distant or close by, an exotic or perfectly ordinary city. It’s something akin to, but not quite like, a déjà vu: We feel that we have been in this city before. But not in real life. Somehow we have discovered, in life, the Kabul or the Kyoto of our dreams.
Artist and photographer Irene Kung was born in Switzerland and trained as a painter. Based in Switzerland after many years abroad, her work has achieved international recognition.
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