Connection/Isolation Accessible Gallery

 It is impossible to separate connection and isolation. Many images expressed new ways of staying connected because of social distancing. This could be through video calls, or teaching virtually. Connecting with family both past and present, was also a common theme. It could be through sitting down to share a dinner together or remembering parents who have passed on. It could be about a woman who was adopted as a baby, and wondering if her biological parents, whom she never knew - survived COVID-19 in China. Some images very poignantly show how talking to a grandmother through a screen door, reflects both connection and isolation.

Title of Photo: Through the Screen No. 1

Name: Dao Than    

Ethnicity: Vietnamese

Age: 28

Date Image was Captured: 5/29/20

Time Image was Captured: 4:00:00 PM

Location Image was Captured: Ngoai's House

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
Ngoai's House Through the Screen No. 1 shows what visiting my grandma looks like during the quarantine. My sister and I have set up a sitting area outside of her house and we are talking to her through the screen door.     

What does this image mean to you?
Family is undeniably the biggest part of Asian culture. When the quarantine was put in place, that part of our culture also became the hardest to uphold, especially for my grandma. She has stubbornly lived alone in her house for over 30 years. We would check up on her frequently to make sure she is doing well. The fear of COVID made this practice very difficult—what is safe? Staying away and isolating her? Or visiting her to ensure her safety?    

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
Consideration of others. Hands down. When the COVID-19 experience began, a lot of people were not worried because they considered themselves to be young and healthy, myself included. The mentality was something along the lines of “I don’t care if I catch the virus because I will survive it.” The reality of it is that some people will not and did not survive. I just hope that we can all learn to be more considerate of others. Simply, our actions affect other people and sometimes those effects are unbearable.

 

Title of Photo: Through the Screen No. 2

Name: Dao Than    

Ethnicity: Vietnamese

Age: 28

Date Image was Captured: 5/29/20

Time Image was Captured: 4:00:00 PM

Location Image was Captured: Ngoai's House

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
Through the Screen No. 2 depicts my grandma ngoai sitting inside of her house talking to me through her screen door.

What does this image mean to you?
Family is undeniably the biggest part of Asian culture. When the quarantine was put in place, that part of our culture also became the hardest to uphold, especially for my grandma. She has stubbornly lived alone in her house for over 30 years. We would check up on her frequently to make sure she is doing well. The fear of COVID made this practice very difficult—what is safe? Staying away and isolating her? Or visiting her to ensure her safety?    

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
Consideration of others. Hands down. When the COVID-19 experience began, a lot of people were not worried because they considered themselves to be young and healthy, myself included. The mentality was something along the lines of “I don’t care if I catch the virus because I will survive it.” The reality of it is that some people will not and did not survive. I just hope that we can all learn to be more considerate of others. Simply, our actions affect other people and sometimes those effects are unbearable.

Title of Photo: Meditation with my Guru

Ethnicity: South Asian

Age: 70    

Date Image was Captured: 6/6/20    

Time Image was Captured: 10:00:00 AM    

Location Image was Captured: Zoom meeting from Bangaluru, India

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
his is a collage from a Zoom meditation session showing my Guru, my wife, my son and me. We are one even though separated.
What does this image mean to you?
I would like leadership that fosters diversity and practices the highest of human values.

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
This is a reminder that my spiritual teacher is helping me cope during this time.

Title of Photo: Tom Nook in Quarantine

Name: Jennifer Nguyen

Ethnicity: 

Age: 33

Date Image was Captured: 6/6/20

Time Image was Captured: 10:03:00 AM

Location Image was Captured: Wallingford, Seattle, WA

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
A photo of a game called animal crossing. This room is Asian inspired with Asian style decor and Asian food items traditionally seen in Dim sum restaurants.

What does this image mean to you?
Animal Crossing has allowed me to escape from my apartment and away from my work! This is a photo that shows a game called Animal Crossing that allows for individuals to gather items, meet with friends (virtually), and build community. This photo shows one of the spaces in my Animal Crossing House where I have gathered all items necessary to make a dIm sum restaurant. I missed getting dim sum with friends and family, so I created a place virtually where my friends could come and have dim sum with me!

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
I hope that through this, people are able to see community can be built in so many ways and it does not necessarily have to be physical connection.

Title of Photo: Sal Sees a Stranger

Name:     Arjun Agerwala

Ethnicity: South Asian

Age: 39

Date Image was Captured: 5/3/20    

Time Image was Captured: 5:56:00 PM

Location Image was Captured: Bedroom, Brooklyn, NY

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
Masked man stands close and peers at turtle, who stares back from atop her tank

What does this image mean to you?
Our companion during all these weeks, while I was cut off from my job and routine, was our dear red-eared slider, Sal. But does she recognize me when half my face is missing?

 

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
I’d like to be outside more. And some competent leadership wouldn’t hurt.

Title of Photo: Missing Julianna

Name: Richard Ida

Ethnicity: Japanese American

Date Image was Captured: 6/2/18    

Time Image was Captured: 10:30:00 AM

Location Image was Captured: back yard

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
This is a picture of me and my granddaughter sitting next to each other on the steps of my deck.  Julianna was 3 when this picture was taken in May so the the grass and trees are nice and green.  We each have a glass of water and we are having a nice grandpa and Julianna chat.  She is 1/4 Japanese, has very blond hair, and loved more than I can count!

What does this image mean to you?
COVID19 put an end to all our travel plans which meant cancelling our trip in May to Madrid where my son and his family live.  I like this picture because it shows me and Julianna  just hanging out together in the backyard.  It is two years old but represents our time together since we couldn't visit this spring.  I love my granddaughter who just turned 5 and we skype on a regular basis but I was so looking forward to playing with her in person.  Hopefully we will get to see them during the holidays and international travel will be safe.  There is something special about watching your son grow up and have a child of his own.   I wonder if I will get to watch Julianna grow up and graduate. I hope so.  

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
I hope the world will be a good place for Julianna and all the young people to grow up and be happy and healthy.  She has very loving parents who believe strongly in making this a world that treats everyone fairly, with respect, kindness and joy. 

Untitled #1 (From There, To Here)

Name: Sydney Walsh

Ethnicity: Chinese

Age: 19

Date Image was Captured: 3/20/20 

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
Laying on a white table cloth, embroidered with pink and yellow flowers, is an open book from my orphanage in China that shows a picture of my parents holding me as a baby. Inside the book are Chinese characters that give information about my parents and I. On top of the open book is an envelope that says "Baby Sydney" and the top right corner is torn open.

What does this image mean to you?
This photograph was made for my project From There, To Here, which is an on-going project in response to my experience as a Chinese adoptee, as well as others who have experienced interracial and intercultural adoption. During COVID-19 one thought has been stirring questions in my mind: What if my birth parents don't make it through the pandemic? What if they're already gone because of it? I already have uncertain feelings about my cultural history and identity, but when I heard news about the coronavirus in China, I couldn't help but wonder how my birth parents were being affected and if I would ever get the chance to meet them. Thus I decided to dig into old family archives to hopefully make some connection with my ethnic heritage.

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
I want to see more open minds in the world. COVID-19 has shown me that it doesn't matter that I grew up in America, because on the outside I look Chinese. I am scared to go out in public in fear of being harassed or physically harmed, as are many other Asian Americans right now. The pandemic is occurring during AAPI Heritage Month and it's one of the hardest times to celebrate being Asian in a white majority country. It reminds us that our "model minority" status is conditional. I want people to stop assuming that Asians are "dirty" or "unsanitary" because that's not true. People need to stick together as humans during this time, and after too, rather than label certain ethnic groups as "others".

The frame of my world

Name: Edward Wong    

Ethnicity: Chinese American

Age: 69

Date Image was Captured: 4/22/20

Time Image was Captured: 10:00:00 AM

Location Image was Captured: Oakland, CA

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
I'm staring out a large window out into a yard full of trees and plants with the street off in the distance.

What does this image mean to you?
As we shelter in place, we note both the physical confinement but also the beauty that still surrounds us. This is literally my window to the world but more than a still life, this frame contains the motion of birds, the rush of the wind, the sound of passing cars, the hum of life.

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
We must come to embrace our shared fate and learn that we can only survive this pandemic by working together internationally because as long as one person is sick, we will all be sick.

Untitled #3 (From There, To Here)

Name: Sydney Walsh

Ethnicity: Chinese

Age: 19

Date Image was Captured: 4/6/2020

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired? 
This image depicts an open journal on a dark wooden surface my Mom wrote from my perspective the day she got me. To the left of it is a red box that holds a stamp of my Chinese name.

What does this image mean to you?
This photograph was made for my project From There, To Here, which is an on-going project in response to my experience as a Chinese adoptee, as well as others who have experienced interracial and intercultural adoption. During COVID-19 one thought has been stirring questions in my mind: What if my birth parents don't make it through the pandemic? What if they're already gone because of it? I already have uncertain feelings about my cultural history and identity, but when I heard news about the coronavirus in China, I couldn't help but wonder how my birth parents were being affected and if I would ever get the chance to meet them. Thus I decided to dig into old family archives to hopefully make some connection with my ethnic heritage.  

 

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
I want to see more open minds in the world. COVID-19 has shown me that it doesn't matter that I grew up in America, because on the outside I look Chinese. I am scared to go out in public in fear of being harassed or physically harmed, as are many other Asian Americans right now. The pandemic is occurring during AAPI Heritage Month and it's one of the hardest times to celebrate being Asian in a white majority country. It reminds us that our "model minority" status is conditional. I want people to stop assuming that Asians are "dirty" or "unsanitary" because that's not true. People need to stick together as humans during this time, and after too, rather than label certain ethnic groups as "others".

Teaching Chinese e-lessons

Name: Mark Lee Pringle

Ethnicity: Chinese-Scottish American ABC

Age: 65

Date Image was Captured: 5/8/20

Time Image was Captured: 5:30:00 PM

Location Image was Captured: Girard, Ohio

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
The look on my face is determined focus, trying to figure out the correct words to use to describe movement to my students. My glasses on and face to my PC screen, lol.    

What does this image mean to you?
New experience teaching kung-fu, tai-chi, & Chinese language by learning how to survive, and getting use to e-lessons with my students instead of in person.

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
Having to change with the situation at hand, I wish more senior citizens would give PC e-lessons a try. I think they would enjoy it, plus it will keep them safer inside. I also hope and pray that people will learn to be more racially and culturally accepting of our fellow human beings.

Pandemic Dissertation Defense 

Name: Sriya Bhattacharyya    

Ethnicity: South Asian - Indian

Age: 33

Date Image was Captured: 3/23/2020

Time Image was Captured: 4:00:00 PM

Location Image was Captured: Bronx, NY - Zoom

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
The image is a screenshot of a Zoom video call including 25 tiles of people's faces, including mine, smiling and giving thumbs ups.    

 

What does this image mean to you?
The moment I passed my dissertation defense, remotely, with my community from all around the country in celebration with me. My dissertation was titled "Muslim Women Resist: A Participatory Arts-Informed Qualitative Inquiry"

 

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
I would like to witness economic justice and more access to electronics to connect with others from afar. I'd like for us to learn that the busy lifestyle is not necessary, and perhaps change to a 4-day work week. I also hope for better climate practices and reduced emissions.

Taiko Practice

Name: Sasen Cain

Ethnicity: South Asian

Age: 37

Date Image was Captured: 6/7/20

Time Image was Captured: 7:49:00 PM

Location Image was Captured: My bedroom

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
A taiko player stands at a taiko drum, with drumsticks extended, ready to play. The drum is covered in layers of towels to dampen the sound. In the background, a laptop displays a Zoom conference call.

What does this image mean to you?
I am a taiko player. This is how we practice now. I am lucky--I was able to bring home one of my group's huge chudaiko drums. Even with layers of towels, I strike the drum as lightly as possible, to avoid annoying my neighbors. It is deeply lonely practicing alone; this music was meant to be played together.

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image?
I hope that we in the U.S. learn to invest more generously in public health, and to trust scientists and health professionals--rather than politicians--to provide good public policy.

Zooming with Old Friends

Name: Glenn Asakawa

Ethnicity: Japanese American    

Date Image was Captured: 4/22/20

Time Image was Captured: 2:06:00 PM

Family and Fish

Name: Jennifer Phung    

Ethnicity: Japanese American    

Date Image was Captured: 4/22/20    

Time Image was Captured: 2:06:00 PM

Location Image was Captured: Westminster, CA

How would you describe your image, to someone who may be visually impaired?
My Grandpa, mom, dad and myself holding up a large fish at the dinner table.     

What does this image mean to you? 
This image represents the power of small moments: Dinner with family and all the love and strength to hold each other up.

Based on your COVID-19 experience, what would you like to see changed in your world, that may or may not be related to your image? 
More community support for one another. Emphasis on staying-in and its benefits.

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