MASK IN THE SUBWAY PROJECT BY ZIHAO DONGI was inspired by this whole chain reaction. Perhaps this is the only positive thing about this outbreak. I conceived a piece of work, and I decided to shoot a set of videos. I did this by tracking and recording an Asian man taking the subway wearing a mask and the reactions of people around him, to trigger people’s thinking: what is the attitude of the American people towards the group wearing masks? In the face of the epidemic, what kind of attitude should we adopt? To get the most honest feedback, I used a tiny camera. For artistic presentation, I also spent a lot of time designing camera positions, actor’s scripts, and recording the environment. But just as all was going well, the epidemic broke out in the United States. In an instant, the infected people spread across the continent like a flood from a levee breach. People are finally beginning to realize that this is not the ordinary flu. Companies, stores and schools are closing. The U.S. government has taken steps to call for social isolation. It all happened so fast that I couldn’t react. In an instant, my video project was on hold. All my plans were upset when the Asian friend I had filmed in the video chose to return home at the first sign of the outbreak. I had no choice but to discard a large number of shots I had already done. Moreover, due to the particularity of the video project, it was difficult for me to complete all the work by myself, so I had to ask my classmates and friends for help. Without exception, no one was willing to risk their lives to accompany me on a nonessential project. In this way, the project has been delayed until now. It was all so ironic that I didn’t know whether to thank the outbreak for giving me the inspiration or to spit on it for putting my project on hold.

Zihao Dong is a sophomore in the Graphic Design Department at SVA. Zihao is from China.