Damen, calligraphy on the window glass during lockdown, 2020. Courtesy of the artist.
At the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2020, when the coronavirus first emerged, Wuhan in China became the first city in the world affected by this deadly disease. It rapidly spread to the entire country, and further on to Europe, America and the rest of the world. In these strange times, we witness the emptiness of streets, squares and cities everywhere; we are estranged from and yet ‘connected’ to each other. China has changed, and the world has changed. Professor Jiang’s talk comes from his conversations at the peak of the pandemic in 2020 with professionals and scholars from different disciplines in the Chinese cultural world. The conversations aim to foster new understandings of this present-day crisis; the threat of the invisible, notions of distance and spatialisation, separation and isolation, communication and mobility, discipline and surveillance, and community and collectiveness, as well as the increase in conflicts and divisive voices between China and the world.
Professor Jiehong Jiang is Head of Research at School of Art, Director of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham City University, and Principal Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect). In addition to publishing widely Jiang has extensive research and curatorial experiences in contemporary art and visual culture.
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