The Shadow Out of Time. "I Dreamt of Japan"


  • Skaidra Trilupaitytė Lithuanian Culture Research institute, Vilnius, Lithuania



HPL, Mindaugas Lukošaitis’s drawings, weird fiction, artistic archetype, researcher-geologist, dream catcher


Writing this text was prompted by my interest in the ideas of otherworldliness, dreams and anti-modernity developed in the works of the fantasy genre. Several years ago, while reading the short stories and novellas by one of the fathers of weird fiction, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890–1937), I was thinking about the popularity of images of his work in films, while a later acquaintance with the drawings by the Lithuanian draughtsman Mindaugas Lukošaitis (b. 1980) encouraged me to explore the phenomenon of artistic archetype. The large-format series I Dreamt of Japan created by the artist circa 2013–2018 represents spatial monochromatic chiaroscuro formations, rocks, thick haze and the remnants of mysterious architectural monuments that he saw in his dream. Lukošaitis drew gloomy black-and-white images of imaginary Japan without ever having visited this Far East country. However, that’s where he perceived his visions to be located, and upon waking up, he visualized with a pencil what his brain had constructed while he was sleeping.

The series of drawings I Dreamt of Japan by Lukošaitis is viewed in this text not so much through analyzing the features of the drawing as an artwork, but rather through the prism of philosophical weird fiction developed by the classic of horror literature Lovecraft and his successors. The sense of inhuman (i.e., incognizable to humans) reality can hardly be described within the limits of a single discipline. In this case, an effort to analyze it can also be regarded as a kind of “non-academic” approach to the artistic archetype, an attempt to find a key to the world of fantasy, imagination and dreams. It is asserted in the conclusions that analogous artistic archetypes emerging in these historically distant works can serve as a kind of intertexts bringing together archaic and latest technologies, science and art. In this case, the principles of weird fiction (or weird realism) suggest not so much cancelling the knowledge brought by modernity as helping us to understand what is still unfamiliar and unrecognized.

Author Biography

Skaidra Trilupaitytė, Lithuanian Culture Research institute, Vilnius, Lithuania

is a Senior Researcher at the Lithuanian Culture Research Institute, a lecturer at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. The author of the monographs Kūrybiškumo galia? Neoliberalis­ tinės kultūros politikos kritika (The Power of Creativity? Criticism of the Policy for Neoliberal Culture, 2015) and Lietuvos dailės gyvenimas ir institucijų kaita. Sovietmečio pabaiga – Nepriklau­ somybės pradžia (The Life of Lithuanian Art and the Changes in Institutions. From the End of the Soviet Era to the Beginning of the Independence Era, 2017). A member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and the Lithuanian Artists’ Association. In 2003, she defended a doctoral thesis titled The Life of Lithuanian Art from the Viewpoint of Institutional Change: The Late 1980s and Early 1990s. She had fellowships or took part in various projects at the University of Oxford (Great Britain), The New School (New York, USA), McMaster University (Toronto, Canada), and Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). Main fields of research: culture politics, neoliberalism, questions of creative freedom and assessment of the totalitarian past, creativity and AI in art. In her articles in Lithuanian and international academic publications, she analyses the topics of international intellectual exchange, urban cultural regeneration, creative industries, public space and monuments, and urban protest.



How to Cite

Trilupaitytė, S. (2022). The Shadow Out of Time. "I Dreamt of Japan". Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis, (106), 272–298.