Aoyin [SARS and the Social Imaginary]

Referencing Charles Taylor's book Modern Social Imaginaries, this work, titled 'Aoyin' (Ow-yin) after a monster of Chinese folklore, is a reflection on the 2020 pandemic and the deleterious psychological effect of 'lockdowns' as a measure intended to combat an invisible foe.

Aoyin are said to be fond of feasting on human brains. An analogy perhaps for the visitation to our homes of SARS-CoV-2 and the attendant fracturing of rationality in the face of a crisis, both of medicine and of media.

This work explores the psychological impact of the pandemic, the confinement of millions, the pervasive mania of safetyism and the surreal confrontation as we are locked-down in our homes with a pathogen that can’t be witnessed directly.

SARS-CoV-2 exists as a biological entity, but also as an abstraction, a ‘Social Imaginary’ constructed on all-too-often irrational foundations. A monster of the imagination, a devourer of the mind; Aoyin.

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Aoyin [SARS and the Social Imaginary]

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