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<Dream and Secret>

Written by Younghee Kim

On the ceiling of the Opera Garnier, there was a dreamlike painting by Chagall.

In the world of the ceiling, the angels blew their horn, the lovers hugged each other, birds carried petals, the dancers danced. The world in that ceiling painting, it was a different universe and paradise from the rest of the world outside the theater.

"rêve"(dream) and "secret" living together at the Garnier, but they stayed in different places. ‘rêve’ stayed close to the ceiling, between brilliant chandelier lights, 'secret' stayed far away from the ceiling, under a dark chair in the theater.


The heaven in the ceiling that ‘secret’ looked up to was a perfect world. That was getting more light each day thanks to the aspirations and wishes of the people who looked up to the world. Perhaps because of the eyes of many people, the dream of staying among the chandeliers has become more shiny than the stars.


"Secret" became heavier and strangely bent because of the salty tears and secret letters and secret whispers that audiences shed under their chairs every day, even having double-triple shadows. Instead of losing its light, "Secret" became a mystery of darkness.


The glorious ‘rêve’, which had nothing more to envy, rarely looked down at the darkened theater floor. And then one day, after the performance, the lights went out in the chandelier, the mysterious, wriggling theater floor made "rêve" very upset. Like the black and blue sea, like fireflies moving all at once, like a brilliant aurora can swim into the night sky.


Especially one night, the delicate and pathetic light that constantly pours out of a ring that a woman shoved under a theater chair caught ‘rêve’ and wouldn't let go.

She hid her face in a beautiful race, but she must have been shedding pearl-like tears to remove the ring she had cherished on her fingers.

Slowly as if she were doing the impossible... as if she were on fire...

She let go of the ring so that it could only be seen in the eyes of ‘rêve’.


“What on earth is that little ring so beautiful and shiny? It touches my heart more deeply than any opera or ballet.”


Now, every day after the performances, ‘rêve’ only waited for darkness to come. To see the mysterious floor of the theater wriggling by the salty tears, secret letters and whispers that the audience shed. But ‘rêve’ found itself bored with beautiful angels and ecstatic notes.


"Secret" become free to use the laws that move the world and the magic potions that save people. But "Secret" became heavier and curiously bent on the darkness, it has always admired the light and free world in the painting of the ceiling.

It wondered if it could be free, flirting with angels, flying in the glare of dust.


“What's that place that only needs to think of God and beauty? If I could be a little bird in that painting...”


Then one day, 'Secret' and 'Dream' made a big decision. "Secret" decided to ignore the gravity without putting up with the weight that weighed on him. ‘rêve’ no longer tolerate the gravitational pull that made it light, but decided to admit its heavy weight.

Then all of a sudden, the electricity in the theater fluctuated and all the lights went out. The world in the ceiling, the stage, the theater, and the audience are all in darkness. After the time of eternity as a flash and the moment of a flash as eternity, the light was on again.

At the moment of the blackout, 'Secret' could fly all the way to the blue sky in the painting of the ceiling, and 'rêve' could roll down to the bottom of the theater.

When they came to their senses, 'Secret' became a little bird in the painting of the ceiling, and ‘rêve' became a sad ring abandoned by a woman under an audience chair. Now, 'Secret' became the most brilliant and free secret in the world, and 'rêve' became the most secretive dream in the world.


“Mr. André Malraux!

When you suggested that I decorate the ceiling of the Opera Garnier, my heart was pounding madly and I was almost mesmerized by the overwhelming sensation. I asked myself day and night if I could do it right.

Then I suddenly dreamed, and in my dream I saw a little bird fluttering with a bunch of flowers in its mouthing. At the moment, I decided that I should express the secrets of man that are more noble and beautiful than any other work of art, and the wings of dreams that become stronger in the dark, in my ceiling paintings.

Secrets without dreams are as dreary as ever, dreams without secrets are as frivolous as ever. Only with the wings of dreams and secrets can humans fly into the arms of a warm God.

I'm relieved that I can give you a gift that is not ashamed of you who have trusted me, and this Paris that I truly love. I'll call this painting ‘A Bouquet of Dreams’



-rêve : ‘Dream’ in French

-secret : ‘Secret’ in French


-Marc Chagall : Russian Jewish artist. He came to France in 1910, receiving countless images and inspiration, and blossoming his own unrivaled art world. The masterpiece, "A Bouquet of Dreams" is the ceiling painting of the Opera Garnier, by the request of Andre Marlowe, the culture minister at the time. Which was filled with gratitude for Paris for holding himself in arms and for letting him blossom his arts.


-Paris Opera Garnier : There is Mark Chagall's ceiling painting on its ceiling and holding a grand staircase and beautiful chandelier, making it the stage for "The Phantom of the Opera."


-Andre Malraux : French novelist and statesman in the mid-20th century. He wrote the books as in the book, 《The Conquerors》 《The Human Condition》. He served as minister of information and culture under the De Gaulle regime.

All Photos and Writings by ⓒ Younghee Kim 2021. All rights reserved.

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