Whitehot Magazine

Art in the Time of Covid-19

Uurintuya Dagvasambuu

By WM, May 2020 

SAPAR CONTEMPORARY: Gallery + Incubator

Uurintuya Dagvasambuu, Mongolia

“Since the pandemic, when we first heard of this virus we panicked. We didn’t know much about it and we were fearful. But now every day we hear news, we learn more, and we feel more knowledgeable about this virus as time goes on.  My kids are also at home – the schools and kindergartens are closed, so I don't go to my studio now every day, I stay home and work from home every day. We used to rush to take our kids to school and kindergarten, and we would rush, then sit in traffic and it can be very stressful due to the traffic. Instead there’s more ease and we don’t need to spend too much time rushing around.  Instead of all this rush we used to have, I now spend all this time on my work.”

Bruno Miguel, Small Concert for Pictorial Guests.

Bruno Miguel, Brazil

“Over the past 10 years, Brazilian professor and artist Bruno Miguel has taught subjects related to contemporary painting, creative thinking and building a portfolio at the Parque Lage School of Visual Arts, the most important in the country. During the quarantine period, classes continue, but virtually. Stay at home.”

Dilyara Kaipova

Dilyara Kaipova, Uzbekistan 

“In Uzbekistan there is also a quarantine at the moment, just like in all the other countries. And we are also in the phase of uncertainty. Different artists have different approaches to this. Some are taking photographs of what is happening at the moment, some are making drawings on the topic of quarantine, based on how the life has changed and what people are doing. The artists from Bishkek have a very interesting initiative. They organized an online auction, and they have quite interesting works being exhibited and sold there. I personally stopped spending my time on social media, except for this auction. Otherwise, my life has not changed much apart from the fact that I cannot go to Margilan, where my work is based. It is located 350 km from Tashkent, so I cannot leave and pick up my works that are actually already ready. So the only difficulty at the moment is that I cannot continue that type of work. Otherwise, not much in my lifestyle has changed — I am just at home working on other things.”

Poonam Jain

Poonam Jain, India

“I have been in Bangalore since the 20th of March. I came here from Bombay with the few papers and pens that I always carry during short travels. As it turns out, my stay here is for a longer period this time. 

Boredom gave me time to clean the excess messages and emails from my phone. These texts and immobility have become materials to make a series of drawings, at least that’s the idea for now. These are also just sketches, yet a way of passing time in an ineffable period.  I like to think as if I am using Law of Conservation of Energy which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and that energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. In these drawings, virtual trash become material to fill space in twisted architectural spaces that resemble crumbled paper or beaten metal sheets. 

Article featuring Poonam: https://punemirror.indiatimes.com/others/sunday-read/art-in-isolation-style/amp_articleshow/74989255.cms 

Marela Zacarias

Marela Zacarias, Mexico/U.S. 

“I was here in Mexico City for the opening of a show and decided to stay here with my family until it is safe to go back to NY. My brother Elias, who is a filmmaker, is quarantined with us in Cuernavaca Mexico and he volunteered to take some videos of my practice to share with social media in an effort to stay connected during this time.” 

Uthman Waahab

Uthman Wahaab, Nigeria

“I am grateful that during this trying time of COVID-19, my art and process has become my apparatus. It keeps me alive and helps stave off panic attacks.

I am grateful my studio is not too far from the house, so it serves as my solace, a place to reflect, safe, sane and be alive.” 

Krištof Kintera, Praying Wood.

Krištof Kintera, Czech Republic

“Well, it’s a paradox, but this crisis brought me wished space for concentration, I usually have a lot of people visiting my studio every day and now there is nobody coming.  To be honest, the current solitude has provided an opportunity to complete my latest project Praying Wood, a large outdoor wooden sculpture of a figure kneeling in prayer. Although this piece seems to be imbued with more meaning since the beginning of the pandemic, I started working on this project back in November 2019.” WM


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