Dream Auction, is an umbrella for a series of works exploring the Korean practice of buying and selling dreams. A casual part of everyday life which is rooted in centuries of historical dream interpretation, friends or relatives might buy or sell one another’s dreams based on their symbolic characteristics. Though such transactions are informal and friendly, they hold mutual affective value rooted in the sharing of one’s personal, internal contemplations. It is a transfer of energy in good faith, an act of friendly generosity rooted in reverie. Echoing these relational habits, artist Bongsu Park’s work offers her audience similarly profound moments for experiencing dreams, using sensory visuals to embellish our perception of the subconscious.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I submit a dream to DREAM AUCTION?
Describe your dream as much as you can remember in a simple text and we will print and list it in the auction. The dream submitted will be sold as the text written at the time of submission with no alterations or corrections.
Please contribute your dream with care. It is a transfer of energy in good faith, an act of friendly generosity. The dream you are selling should be a dream that you personally have dreamt. Please don’t submit a dream that you don’t want to sell or you have already sold to someone else.
What is the point of owning someone else’s dream? How can something as intangible as a dream ever be owned?
In Korea people think dreams can have a positive meaning or contains an omen that may bring them luck or good fortune. Koreans buy and sell dreams based on trust and belief. The exchange would normally happen between friends or family in casual conversation. If one person thinks a dream has good meaning they might ask the dream owner to sell them the dream. The buyer would pay with money, or perhaps offer a valuable object in exchange or even provide a nice meal by way of payment, but both sides should agree and be happy about what they are exchanging.
How does someone bidding for a dream know it’s a real dream, not just a consciously invented story?
Selling and buying dreams is based on trust, belief and goodwill. The dream you are selling should be a dream that you personally have dreamt. Please contribute and buy dreams with care.
Does the seller receive 100% of the sale value?
DREAM AUCTION is a not-for-profit artistic venture. Prices start at a reserved price 50,000 KRW to cover the running costs, and all profits from the auction will be donated to charity. A record of monies raised for charity and production expenditure will be published on the DREAM AUCTION website.
For the seller, do they cease to benefit from the meaning or content of a dream once they sell?
Once you sell the dream the meaning or content of the dream will go to the buyer. Your dream can be a gift for someone else. Please don’t submit a dream that you don’t want to sell or you have already sold to someone else.
Are certain types of dream more valuable than others?
Certain dreams are indicators of positive meaning in Korean culture. For example, one involving a pig would traditionally allude to the arrival of wealth. One involving ripening fruit may indicate a message about fertility and childbirth. Any dream which has a positive interpretation has a subjective value that makes it desirable.
If there is nothing obviously symbolic in a dream, what is the point of owning it?
Dream interpretation varies between cultures and individuals. Some people can find the meaning in the dream where others see only confusion. Someone’s nightmare may indicate something more positive to someone else. DREAM AUCTION advice is to buy the dream that feels good for you, whether or not the meaning is overtly clear.
How should I write dreams that I remember only part of it? Does it need to contain a cohesive narrative?
Describe your dream in as much detail as you can remember in simple language. It can have a narrative or perhaps just some description or words of scenes that you can remember. Please write freely as you feel. The details of a dream may naturally be restructured or changed as you are trying to remember them, whilst other details simply vanish.
How to describe dream within dreams, or dream-scenes that only seem to connect randomly?
Feel free to describe whole dreams as journey. DREAM AUCTION advice is to write as you would describe in words. We know dreams are not logical. You can leave the text as nonsense or gibberish if that’s what your dream depicted. Scriptures and spells don’t necessarily make sense on immediate listening, but often contain latent potency.
What tangible object or proof of purchase do I receive if I buy someone’s dream?
DREAM AUCTION will print on a scroll the submission and list it in the auction. The successful bidder will receive this dream scroll, authenticated by DREAM AUCTION. Each one is a unique edition of one. Dreams submitted to the DREAM AUCTION will be sold as the text written at the time of submission with no subsequent alterations or corrections.
What happens if my dream doesn’t find a buyer?
Your dream will remain as your dream. If your dream doesn’t sell it will remain posted on the website for future auctions.
Can my dream contribution be anonymous?
You can contribute your dream anonymously.
Can a person who buys a dream re-sell it to someone else?
Re-selling would be highly unusual and one suspects that the dream’s potency would somehow be diminished. However, once the buyer has purchased a dream, the dream belongs to them. It becomes their dream and theirs alone. It is up to the buyer to decide what to do with it.