In light of recent events and protocols in place due to COVID-19, I revisited a study I made earlier this year that has found new context in our current situation. This painting began as a reflection of the sanitation of culture commenting on the western erasure of eastern culture. Now it speaks to the importance of being extra cautious of our physical sanitation. The blue and white patterned background, inspired by Chinese porcelain, harkens the fragility of the current socio-political climate and racial violence that we are navigating. The Purell on the surface is reflective of our urgency for cleanliness and signifies the drastic change one virus has brought to our society. Sanitization, which was once a right, now has become a privilege, as witnessed through the inflating prices and hoarding of commodities such as lysol and toilet paper.
Claire Heidinger is a Toronto-based visual artist completing her BFA at OCAD University, specializing in Drawing and Painting with a Minor in Art History. Her work is heavily influenced by her heritage and culture, dealing with internalized and societal racism towards Asian identities.
Claire’s recent research focuses on cross-cultural trade between the East and West. Fuelled by visual fetishism, Claire investigates the transposition of media in ceramics and paintings from the Italian Renaissance alongside postcolonial literature. She depicts contemporary bodies in defiance of western iconography in order to regain the sovereignty of the gaze.
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