Creativity in the times of Corona

pandemic of Coronavirus through art
source: Twitter.com and reddit.com

The deadly Corona Virus has hit the world hard; self-awareness being key to the fight against the pandemic, various individuals and organisations are doing their bit to spread awareness messages around. A few creative souls have taken an artistic route to share the message of self-care. Check out 5 amazing artists who have used their art to address the issue.

It is an unprecedented challenge that the world is facing in the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time this article is published 182,400 people across the globe are infected by the novel corona virus, resulting into 7,100 deaths worldwide. Millions are living under lock down and nearly 3 continents have curbed travel. The threat is still looming large, and families are advised to follow Social Distancing, and avoid any undesired movement.

The most concerning aspect of the virus is that its symptoms are similar to common cold: fever, tiredness and dry cough. The virus is spread through small droplets that are shot out from the mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing.

Social media and news channels across the world are bringing spotlight onto this topic. And artists have found their own ways too. Try searching for hashtags like #COVID19 or #Coronavirus, and your search results will be filled with creative and thought-provoking posts that are aimed to inform and educate people about the virus’s details and mandatory cautions. Here are a few artists that have been trending on various platforms.

1. Tommy Fung

Going by the handle name surrealhk on instagram, Tommy Fung is a Hong-Kong based photographer who has been expressing his frustration and concern, as he says, “In an exaggerated way and a bit of humour”. Through his evocative edited photographs that might feature a coughing man as an open-mouthed Cthulhu or portray police as the virus. In addressing his intentions behind these artworks, he adds, “The reaction and behaviour of people to the coronavirus is sometimes much more surrealist than my artworks and it is hard not to point it out”.

2. Kuang Biao

This China based political cartoonist addressed the death of coronavirus whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang with a striking artwork. Dr. Li Wenliang was a Chinese ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital who tried to warn his colleagues about the possible outbreak of this virus. He was admonished by the Wuhan police with the claim of making false comments regarding the virus on the internet. On February 7th, he died because of catching the virus from a patient. Kuang posted this sketch of Li wearing a barbed wire mask later in the evening that day.

3. Wei Man Kow

Wei Man Kow is another such prolific artist who has been publishing weekly comic series on extremely informative guidelines and precautionary measures that people should be made aware about, regarding COVID-19. They are catchy, graphic and easy to understand and everyone should check them out.

The artist has made available the pdf free for larger public interest. Find it here https://gumroad.com/products/fnaEE/

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Free pdf, A4 size printout, and coloring sheet here: https://gumroad.com/products/cUFpm ————- Which do you think can keep you safe from #coronavirus infections like the #covid19, masks or hand washing? After much research, I realise that both measures should be used together, but regular hand washing is a much more crucial and effective method to prevent infections if you are a healthy person. However, most people don’t wash their hands properly. With this comic, I hope it will be easier to explain to kids the three big areas that you should watch out for when you wash your hands! The handwashing steps are taken from WHO guidelines here: https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/ This is the first of a series on the importance of personal hygiene in combating the novel coronavirus – done in partnership with @temasekseen . ———— [Sharing Guidelines] This comic is free for the general public to share online and through Whatsapp and Telegram. You can regram or repost the images as long as you follow the guidelines. Downloads are free for printing out as posters for personal and educational use in homes, schools, and workplaces. When sharing, please remember these 3 points: 1) No edits to the comics is allowed in any way when sharing 2) Comics cannot be used for any commercial project 3) If sharing online, tag and credit @weimankow and @temasekseen (IG) or @weimankowart and @temasekholdings (FB), as well as provide a link to instagram.com/weimankow For all other uses, please send a request in through the google form here: https://forms.gle/pqS93BLYh2y8VRbp7 . . . #graphicmedicine #wuhan #maxpackwatercolor #maxpack #frankentoonbrushes #ipad #procreate #psa #drawing #illustration #cartoon #doodle #infographic #digitalart #sketchnote #design #instaart #comic #sequentialart #webcomic #medtwitter #scicomm

A post shared by Wei Man Kow (@weimankow) on

4. Manas Sahoo

The Odisha based sandartist, Manas Sahoo is known for his large sized sand sculptures. To contribute towards the cause of creating awareness around the Corona Virus scare, he has created a 15ft wide sand-sculpted piece at the Puri Golden Sea Beach, titled ‘Consciousness can conquer Coronavirus’.

pandemic of Coronavirus through art
Source: indiawhispers.com

5. Wang XX

Wang XX is a Chinese illustration and comic artist who has created a series of adorable and informative series of cartoons to express the softer side of the pandemic. The sublime artworks concentrate on expressing the tenderness and care that the virus has brought out in people. The series features a seal, octopus, walrus and mouse that help each other, sometimes by helping put on a mask or just giving a warm hug.

pandemic of Coronavirus through art
Source: hyperallergic.com

This is not restricted to visual artists only, various artists from diverse genres are finding creative ways to let out their emotions. The musicians of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra are donating their talent by offering free online tutorials. All their performances scheduled during February and March stand cancelled. They decided to put their free time to use and started posting tutorial videos on their WeChat pages, broadcasted their practice session, they even started designing playlists for people to use to fight boredom.

The orchestra’s principle trombonist, Hao Jie, said to The New York Times:

“All the doctors and nurses were working so hard to help people, so we thought: what can we do as musicians? With everyone staying home for so long, we thought of doing something for young people, for students interested in learning how to play musical instruments”

And with the rising number of COVID-19 diagnosed patients in India, the Government has imposed bans on gatherings and on cinema halls as well as educational institutes. So, refrain from going to crowded places, wash your hands and keep signed into creative yatra to kill your boredom!

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