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Origin, 2022

Aluminium, steel, magnetic letter tiles and acrylic display box

86.5 x 66.5 x 8 cm

Do you remember what you were doing when Singapore reported the first case of the Wuhan virus on 23 January 2020? I was preparing for Lunar New Year celebrations that weekend and planning my return trip for work in New York.


2 years later, the virus has evolved through multiple mutations and new variants continue to be discovered. As a continuation of my personal response to the pandemic, I created Origin, using the first and last 165 letters of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 isolate Wuhan-Hu-1 genome. In total, 330 letters mark the number of days I was away from the big apple.

Inspired by empty departure halls, vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) and restrictions to movement, Origin does not offer answers but looks at how our daily lives are disrupted by the on-going pandemic. In silent acquiescence, are we accepting vaccination status as the new 'Passport', which expires and requires renewal when new variants of the virus strain emerge?

Truth is, we're not out of the woods, as infection numbers continue to rise. Perhaps we should all enter deep fugue. I'm not ready to 'live with COVID-19', are you?

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