Photos: How much time does the reality leave to a dream?

December 28, 2011Jing Gao5 Comments, , , , , , , , , ,

From Xinhua and Weibo

Chinese photographer Fan Shunzan graduated from Department of Photography at Chinese Academy of Fine Arts and Ecole Nationale Supérieur de la Photographie d’Arles (France’s National School of Photography in Arles). At the famed Pingyao International Photography Festival 2011, his photo series, titled How Much Time Does the Reality Allow For A Dream, attracted much attention and was critically acclaimed.

In this photo series, the “dream” is the backdrop, whereas the “reality” is the ground. A person is stuck in the mismatch between the two. All subjects featured in the photos are ordinary people, and the choice of these subjects was never for any aesthetic purpose or interest. However, it seems to convey a message: every person is entitled to have a dream, and every person does have a dream. The persons are a mixture of their dreams and the reality.

An elderly couple in a rural village. They dream of going to Beijing to visit Tiananmen Square.

This peasant-turned migrant worker standing on a construction wishes one day he could become a white-collar worker in the city.

The man with disability aspires to become a Paralympic champion one day.

The boy pictures himself as Superman, who flies freely in the blue sky, but the heavy loads of homework in real life have burdened him so much that he can barely take a breath.

How much time does the reality leave to a dream, and how much space does the dream leave to the reality?

The bicycle mechanic’s dream is to become an aviator.

The young mother who sells cheap toys on the roadside wants to take her child to visit Shanghai.

The white-collar worker who practices with the wastepaper aims to be a clown on stage and bring joy and laughter to others.

The young couple from the countryside fantasize about a romantic wedding of theirs.

Each and every girl has dreamed of being a princess in a castle, but the reality is often cruel.

A vegetable vending woman also has a metropolitan dream deep down her heart.

The laundry scattered on the floor has deprived the housewife of time to lose weight in order to fit herself beautifully into a swimming suit and bask in the sun on the beach.

Selected comments from Sina Weibo (Until press time, the post has been shared by 12,532 users and received 1,067 comments)

926明亮新浪个人认证 :When I first viewed them from the top to the bottom, I felt sad. I wanted to view them once more, so this time, I viewed them from the bottom backwards, then my heart was a little bit solaced.

一直很安静-ing:So touching. Bless those people who have dreams…

暨度:For some reason, I suddenly feel like crying.

潘受:Very good. A series of our national image.

Hello菜小白:How much time does the reality leave to us?

聚散两依依_微博达人:The conflict between the reality and the dream. This photo series can have very strong impact on people’s hearts.[给力]

郑_大琳:The dream is fleshed out fully, whereas the reality is as dry as a bone. (The photos) are very pristine, and yet very real.

阜外医院宋雷: What is my dream?

pppppli:Every one is entitled to have a dream.

一一爱电影:Such photos do not need any explanation or annotation…The dream is in one’s heart; the reality is under one’s feet.

Vacuole-zy微博达人:(The reason why) dreams are so perfect is because we don’t know what would happen if they truly materialize. Perhaps what is let slip is the best? As long as one can be gratified with the present, one can immediately feel pleasure. Why not?

a href=”″>陈海啸: What one wants, what one is capable of and what one deserves will always be one’s conundrum of a lifetime.

快樂做自己就好:The composition of these photos is so great! Great artistic imagery! Love them so much!!

黑暗中也欢笑:Feeling so heavy. //@向着光奔跑吧: Similarly disillusioned.//@尸姐: Am I the only person that feels disillusioned?

rrmf:Only life with a dream is happy. Actually happiness is very simple. //@王鉴石: When you feel worn out on your journey, you can close your eyes and think about the dream that has been quietly propping you up all along.  //@小母狼Ava: Who doesn’t have a dream? Who doesn’t have a prospect?

呼吸不能说-breath: Echo evoked. //@爱海ihai: Touched in an instant. //@小P周: A subject that strikes the deep chord. Photos that arouse intense feelings!

匡吉仕: Dreams are always too far to reach. Should we just give them up?

angle德德微博达人:Everyone has his own dream to pursue~ But the reality is cruel!~ Even if one’s dream is shattered, one must live along with optimism~. Have faith that life is as beautiful as always! Even a small step closer to the dream is rewarding!

我疯了不知道叫啥了:……[泪][泪][泪]Live along. You are much happier than them.

云淡风清331:Having a dream is still a pleasure! At least they all seem very happy! Bless each one of them! [心]//@南门吹雨: The photo series give people who view them very mixed emotions. On the one hand,  I feel those in the pictures are very miserable and pitiful. On the other, I feel they are very optimistic. I actually can see myself a lot in the photos. [泪]

大額頭姑娘:The upper half and the lower half form such a sharp contrast. Can practically feel it when scrolling down the mouse. Nice shots.

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5 comments to “Photos: How much time does the reality leave to a dream?”

  1. Tom Carter | December 29, 2011 | Permalink Reply

    I don’t normally get sentimental about stuff, but this photo essay was very touching, and as a photographer I am genuinely impressed (and a little envious that I never thought of doing something like this).

    • salygyal | December 30, 2011 | Permalink Reply

      if we look behind of 100 years, all is dreams is possible.

  2. Boyette Feliciano | March 6, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    A dream portrait between the past and present…

  3. Oded Fried-Gaon | March 13, 2012 | Permalink Reply

    very moving, indeed.

  4. [...] through all of them, I found it to be more striking and powerful than I had first thought. Photos: How much time does the reality leave to a dream? | Ministry of Tofu Reply With Quote   + Reply to Thread « INFPs from [...]

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