Aoyin [SARS and the Social Imaginary]

Drawing inspiration from Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor's 'Modern Social Imaginaries', this body of work titled 'Aoyin' (Ow-yin) reflects on the psychological effects of the recent pandemic and the experience of lockdowns as a response to the intrusion of an unseen enemy.

'Aoyin' refers to a monster of Chinese folklore known for feasting on human brains, serving as an analogy for the effect of the pandemic with respect to the erosion of objective, verifiable reality.

This work delves into the psychological impact of the pandemic, the confinement of millions, and the surreal visitation of an invasive pathogen that cannot be observed directly.

It also examines the role of media in constructing the 'Social Imaginary' of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, which exists as both a biological entity and an abstraction founded on often irrational beliefs. Ultimately, this work portrays SARS-CoV-2 as a monster of the imagination, one that consumes the mind.


An image from this series, 'Visitor' has been shortlisted for the VAA International Exhibition & Scholarship Prize 2023.


Each image in this series is available to purchase as a signed, limited edition archival C-type print.

No items found.
Black eyed dog
Aoyin [SARS and the Social Imaginary]

Photo projects