Dreams of a Sleeping World Now On View at USC Pacific Asia Museum

It’s a new year which means it’s time for a new round of exhibitions at area museums. Each year I look forward to what is going on display at my favorite institutions and this year looks to be a good one. Actually, it already is because the year started with a fascinating new exhibition at USC Pacific Asia Museum called Dreams of a Sleeping World.

dreams of a sleeping world

Dreams of a Sleeping World is a solo exhibition from contemporary artist Oscar Oiwa. In fact, it’s his first solo exhibition on the West Coast and features an array of his paintings as well as an immersive mural.

Born in Brazil to Japanese parents Oiwa has spent his career in various spots around the world. From Brazil to Japan to Europe to the US he has created works inspired by those places he has inhabited. Working primarily with paintings he creates surreal landscapes that address the changes in our environment. They are beautiful, timely works that provoke users to think more deeply about our surroundings.

To bring further impact to this point the eponymous piece literally becomes our environment. When visiting Dreams of a Sleeping World you enter the work which is a 360° mural that Oiwa considers an immersive dreamscape.

Rendered in black sharpies on a nylon dome it’s a surreal, abstract environment that completely engulfs the viewer. Entering made me feel like I was in the Little Girl Lost episode of the Twilight Zone where a child gets lost in another dimension.

But I can’t say I was uneasy. Instead I was in awe of the work that surrounded me and spent a good deal of time wandering around and admiring the artistry involved. In the end I was calmed more than frightened and really appreciated my entrance into the Sleeping World.

Dreams of a Sleeping World runs through April 26, 2019 and is well worth a visit to USC Pacific Asia Museum. If you go before February 2, 2019 you can also catch Following the Box another fascinating installation I wrote about last year. With works like these on display 2020 is sure to be banner year in area art!


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