The enlightenment and the self awarness are depicted in all religions. Here we have a surreal sky with colors and lights and a bridge covered with snow where a man is walking to a windows with inside a corridor with symbols and letters of Bhutanese alphabet, The corridor represents the after death experience of the human soul, and is connected with a change, the snow is always connected with meditation, the bridge in the sky is the crossing to a new step. All the symbols are togheter for a dream image with strong symbolic value.
This is the second surrealistic picture holding symbolic value. It represents the first step of alchemy, the nigredo or black work. In this step on the way to the the self awarness and enlightenment the self is distroyed for a rebirth in the second step, the albedo, represented in an other picture. Nigredo is the first step in the pathway to the philosopher’s stone all alchemical ingredients had to be cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter. See references about black work
The surrealism depicts lanscapes, situations born in the imagination of the author. They are behind the reality. The surrealsim was born with the photography, and the first elaborations where made in the 19th century. Here above we see an example of solarisation. It was made on a picture I made in the early years 7s in Bruges, Belgium, then elaborated in darkroom. For the technique of solarisation you can follow the link to Wikipedia.
After This kind of elaboration surrealism began with mounting, always in darkroom, more images for creating a new one. This technique was called photo montage and this is the technique used nowadays for making surreal picures, using the computer instead of the darkroom. But I can say that the difficulty for making a picure like this here above made in Belgium was very high!
Surrealism is well known and it is possible to find also pictures with even Salvador D’Alì involved with photographers in creating this kind of artworks. In the surrealism the images are not changed, but create a mosaic for a new image.
We can say that now surrealism evolved itself into photography based digital art, this is because the new technologies changed its analogic origin.