In our dreams, the familiar becomes strange and the bizarre is made believable. Fragments of recognizable settings, people, and events are woven into seamless narratives that are mysterious or unexpected, and yet somehow inevitable. These images can blur the distinctions between illusion and reality, offering a continuation of waking life while asleep.
Somnambulist/Fabulist is a selection of works from the Tang’s collections that explores the creative links between dreaming and storytelling. Are dreams, in fact, just stories that we tell ourselves to help us make sense of our daily existence? The exhibition’s title joins the words somnambulist — a sleepwalker — and fabulist, a creator of fables. Like fables, whose often-absurd characters teach practical lessons, the narratives that emerge in dreams offer coded messages that seem ripe for interpretation.
Each work on view presents a different type of dreamscape, from peaceful solitude to nightmarish reverie. Collage plays an important role in this process.