Yan Cong

Photographer
  
Hotel Quarantine through a Peephole
Location: Beijing
Nationality: China
Biography: Yan Cong (b.1991) is an independent photographer based in Beijing, where she was born and raised. She focuses most of her long-term projects on women’s issues, rural China, and China’s relations with its neighbors.  In 2015, Yan was... read on
Public Story
Hotel Quarantine through a Peephole
Copyright yan cong 2021
Date of Work 03/27/20 - 04/10/20
Updated 05/30/20
Location Beijing
I made this project while under a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a hotel in Beijing, after I had traveled back from overseas. I took a mandatory COVID-19 test during quarantine and was tested negative. This hotel quarantine experience, although surreal and lonely (in that I couldn't leave my room at all, and my only interaction with the outside world was mediated by the low table outside my hotel room, handled by hotel staff in full-body protective suits), was necessary for the wellbeing of myself and people close to me. Out of curiosity, I started to watch and photograph the hotel staff dropping meals outside my door, taking trash from outside our doors, and disinfecting the hallway. This playful act of looking back at the quarantine apparatus and photographing it is a meditation on the new dynamic of power and surveillance in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, in which we have to give up certain rights for the good of public health while stepping in to the unknown of a new normal.
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