This collection brings together students who have allowed the pandemic to alter the course of their practice, whether by devising solutions to the problems it has created or using it as a catalyst for their ideas.
Shiyun Ge is a filmmaker, art director and photographer whose work focuses on the expression of isolation and alienation. For the last two years Shiyun has explored the direction of Chinese film production. Due to the impact of COVID on the production of her final piece, Shiyun shifted her focus to explore the cycle of life as experience by a rabbit head humanoid. Created entirely in her flat, The Story of Life, is a 72-second video that depicts the circle of daily life in a closed-loop space. The character's whole life is divided into 12 clips. Shiyun said of the work, 'The cycle of life forms a similar closed-loop one after another on a linear timeline. It's hard to say whether we plan our time or whether time rules us.'
What’s the relationship between social change and linguistic change? This is the question posed by Magda in her work. Magda is a research-led graphic designer, working around social and political issues. Navigating around the nature of words, her work underlines how we are related to words and how we affect them, illustrating how our changing attitude towards daily life rephrases our communications.
At the beginning of his project, Bi Xia did not expect social distancing to become a hot topic but he believes his project, Solitudism, will be helpful in reshaping public space and behaviour. In this project Xia explores loneliness as a societal health issue. We have been educated from a young age to participate in groups with those who prefer to be in solitude seen as outliers. To combat this Xia has proposed spaces for solitary dining, reading and rehearsal designed to help people master solitude.
As the virus drew closer to the UK, and Nicole witnessed family in Asia slowly withdrawing into isolation, she decided to make work in anticipation of lockdown. While producing her work Nicole thought about how the pandemic was transforming or shifting notions of public and private. Exoskeleton is a series of works made using venetian blinds, a simple and commonplace object seen from within as well as from outside the home. To make these works oil based ink was carefully applied onto each slat of a set of old Venetian blinds and pressed onto canvas to produce an imprint.
Finchittida Finch is a multi-dimensional artist based in London. Born to a Lao refugee and a working class Londoner she grew up seeking adventure, meaning and refuge in secret urban jungles, fashion and ancient spiritual wisdom. Inspired by her Lao heritage, Finchittida has been learning the ancient art of fruit and vegetable carving which feeds into her current body of work centred around trauma and transformation. Her work, Carving in Crisis, fuses this skill with a poetic sensibility to tell a story centred in the midst of the current pandemic.
Household Health is a project by Alessandro Paone and Pinja Piipponen focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on urban living. It addresses the topic of holistic shared health, the environment in which others’ behaviours have an impact on one's own health and wellbeing.
ISOtouch is a set of three wearable devices, which, when paired with another set, allow people to experience physical touch at a distance, using a range of gestures as controls.
During the pandemic Aliki realised how much more potential the original idea had, shifting the project's focus to mimic touch with wearable technology, to allow people to feel physically close to one another, while in isolation.
Xijin’s graduate project rethinks the supermarket experience in the face of COVID-19, which has greatly affected our behaviour and psychology in these spaces. The supermarket has played a pivotal role in the recent pandemic with an increasing demand for safety and a sense of security. Through this project Xijin has devised an alternative perspective on how the coronavirus pandemic will change the future of these spaces, both in the short and long term, as well as ways to support retail spaces as they consider how to safely reopen. Xijin’s designs respond to this social phenomena and provide possibilities for dealing with social distancing in the future.
In her work, Mandy maps out what social and personal artefacts can be in a time when the internet plays an important part in people’s lives. She is interested in the way these new artefacts arise and the digital materiality that is linked to them. As part of her graduate project Mandy presents a Google Doc correspondence with writer/curator, Delany Boutkan, on social artefacts, digital intimacy and collectivity, 'disembodied' forms of togetherness online, and the notion of touching someone without touching in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath.Discover more on RCA2020.