Online Exhibition

Post from the 1st Lockdown is an archive of artists’ responses to the first outbreak of Covid-19 from 7th February to the end of March 2020 in Hubei, China. This project is by artist Gaia Fugazza, Luigi Galimberti, myself, and with the help of several Chinese curators and artists to source works by artists under lockdown in Wuhan and the Hubei region through an open call which was circulated by WeChat and emails.


The original idea was to hold an exhibition of mail art at Grandine art space in London. However, only a few days into the project, the postal service in the Hubei region was interrupted, thus the large majority of the contributions were received digitally. 


This date, which was set in the open call since the beginning, uncannily corresponds to the end of the lockdown in China and the beginning of the lockdown in the UK.


In March, I joined the project to invite more artists and designed a digital platform to present the works with the hope to open up further social and political dialogues with the public. 


We started the project with the desire to have a direct connection with artists in China, who were producing works under quarantine. We wanted to listen to their voices to better understand a story that was told in so many contradictory ways by the media of different countries, which accused each other of cover-ups and propaganda. 


Although we were fully aware of the seriousness of the situation, we did not think that we would find ourselves in the same situation in the space of a few weeks, when the virus spread in Europe and lockdown began in London. 


The direct dialogue with the artist in China had a significant impact on how we prepared for and lived through the lockdown in London. In retrospect, it is interesting to look chronologically at this collection, since the artists were experiencing the virus and its effects at a moment in time in which its causes and its impact on society were still very much obscure. With this website we hope to invite you to join in the conversation. 


Post from the 1st Lockdown

A project by Gaia Fugazza, Luigi Galimberti, and Sha Li

© Sha Li