With many people around the world now in self- and government-imposed isolation, can creativity still flourish? We ask 2019 ROSL Visual Arts Scholar Joey Chin how her output has been impacted by the spread of coronavirus.
Where are you right now?
I am at home in sunny and humid Singapore. It is 8:12am, and I have made some coffee as I work on this email!
Can you please let us know what you have been up to recently and share some projects/work?
I have a few works showing at the Library of Birmingham which opened about a week ago. It's part of a exhibition called Chinese Classics: Arts Practice & the Community. I taught a workshop exploring contemporary text art practices in the Chinese Community Centre Birmingham in early January, and I was able to develop new works from the outcomes by the participants in the workshop. It will be showing until 31 May, so do check it out if you are in the city.
What are you working on right now?
I am currently designing, writing, and making prototypes for an artist's book that will be exhibited in the summer. It is a challenging project on my end, as I have never been very good with calculations and measurements, and the form of this book art certainly requires a lot of that. I have to do the design, writing, and making simultaneously, as each process informs the others. People, and most certainly my younger self, would think art is a matter of free flowing random inspiration and sudden creative flourish. This project reminds me that so much of art is also mathematical and scientific; the weight, make, and material of paper, geometry, measurements and angles. Later in the afternoon, I am heading to an industrial paper supplier to try to find light but also strong paper.
Have you had to change any plans recently because of the COVID-19 outbreak?
Metaphorically speaking, my travel plans are up in the air! Exhibitions and residencies are postponed until further notice. I did not attend the opening of Chinese Classics, and I also cannot confirm plans to attend the exhibition and activities which my artist's book will be a part of. Some art organisers I know are currently brainstorming to make the shift to digital programming. In times like this, I think creativity, resilience, and community are really important. Hence, I am really happy to hear from ROSL reaching out to me through this online engagement.
What tools are you using to stay connected to the wider world?
I just came across this and this. While I am not based in the US, I feel that there is certainly basic information that we can equip ourselves with in terms of art making and financial resources in these times.