Drawing inspiration from Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor's 'Modern Social Imaginaries', this body of work, titled Aoyin (Ow-yin) was conceived during—and reflects on—the psychological effects of the 2020 pandemic and the experience of 'Lockdown' as a response to the intrusion of an unseen antagonist; the COVID-19 causing pathogen, SARS-CoV-2.
'Aoyin' refers to a monster of Chinese folklore known for feasting on human brains, serving as an analogy of sorts for the self-perpetuating breakdown of critical reasoning globally in response to the implied threat of viral contagion. The risk profile of which was impossible to define, verify or objectively reconcile with centralised mitigation measures.
The work examines the psychological impact of the 2020 pandemic with respect to the 'Lockdown,' both mandated and self-inflicted, of millions of citizens worldwide. The surreal incursion into the domestic space—in which we were confined—of an incongruous foreign object; part invasive pathogen, part meme. A malign presence that could not be directly observed.
The photographs also probe the role of media in constructing the 'Social Imaginary' of the SARS-CoV-2 memetic hysteria, which stems, perhaps, from a quantifiable biological phenomenon but also from an abstraction constructed on irrational foundations.
Ultimately, this work portrays SARS-CoV-2 as a monster of the imagination, one that consumes the mind.