Kitty Jardenil @kittyjardenil
Art in isolation
Gian Nicdao (The Philippine Star) - May 1, 2020 - 12:00am

The world has turned to art. In our quarantine, we’ve gone back to reading long-forgotten books or playing catch-up with TV shows and movies. Music’s not for commute these days — it now fills the (sometimes eerie) silence of lockdown. We look at paintings and old travel videos, secretly hoping it’ll transport us to anywhere. Throughout history, art has always sustained us during our darkest times and given us hope.

Many have found comfort in these various forms, but what about the people who make these things that elevate us during crisis? We asked some of our favorite artists to reflect on isolation — what they’ve been up to, how it has been for them, hopes they’ve been keeping — through their own art.

Kitty Jardenil @kittyjardenil

I don’t remember what life was like before ECQ. It’s a whole new era, where each day is the same as the last. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed, with the never-ending news about the coronavirus and online school things. I also generally miss Mexican food. However, I’ve been finding time to do the little things I usually miss on a normal day. While I’m privileged to do these things, there are countless others who live in fear, anxiety and hunger, none of which are their fault. We have to practice empathy now, more than ever, and leave no one behind.

Mohd Sarajan @mohdsarj

It feels like the world has stopped. It’s wild how things I didn’t have to consider before are now laced with anxiety. Photography has always helped me during times when I have had trouble processing heavy emotions, but the past few weeks have just been incredibly difficult and distressing. The act of creating things in quarantine has been challenging, but it forces me to get creative even when I have limited resources. I’ve been trying to come up with small challenges or exercises to keep me busy like doing digital collages, editing old video projects, and other things that I’m good at. This is a collage of my past travels as seen from inside a window because I’m missing the great outdoors.

Gianne Encarnacion @pngianne

I’m trying to be kinder to myself during this quarantine. I’m a type A person and workaholic; I run on productivity. I told myself I could use this time to finally empty my backlog, juggle work and do commissions that can raise funds and help out. Because of my type A-ness, I’ve been extra harsh on myself for not meeting my standards during a regular, non-pandemic day. It took a while to instill in myself that times aren’t normal and there’s just so much mental strain everywhere. So now, I try not to push myself too much.

Sam Bumanlag @sambumanlag

Most of my mornings start at three in the afternoon (yes, in the afternoon) because that’s when I’ve just woken up and eaten my late breakfast. Ever since I started this weird body clock cycle, my sense of time has gone and is nowhere to be found. And in a quick transition, my day will immediately stretch into the night. In my head, this weird routine of waking up in the afternoon and sleeping at the early hours of dawn makes time go a bit faster—and it feels like I’m taking a small leap forward towards that day that this might just all be over.

Miguel Tarrosa @miguel_tarrosa

I didn’t really know what to do during the first weeks of the enhanced community quarantine, but seeing people do creative things while they’re at home — making ube and cheese pan de sal, creating music, etc. — has been very inspiring. I’ve been looking back at my archives and documenting my own home quarantine experience, and now I appreciate everything a little bit more. I hope we don’t just go back to the way things were after this whole pandemic situation blows over. We all deserve better.

GIANNE ENCARNACION KITTY JARDENIL MIGUEL TARROSA MOHD SARAJAN SAM BUMANLAG
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