Gayle Chong Kwan

Quarantine Archipelago (2019)

Far Away, Too Close
Tai Kwun Contemporary
Hong Kong

25 January - 29 April 2019

Curated by Ying Kwok

Contagious Cities

Read Gayle Chong Kwan's research in developing the work

Low res Gayle Chong Kwan Quarantine Archipelago Contagious Cities 2019
Low res Contagious Cities 32
I was interested in the way in which the expansion in photography coincided with the advent of the third global bubonic plague which spread from south-west China to Hong Kong in 1894, which went on to kill 12 million people. This was the first time a global epidemic had been communicated to the public through photographs. I was struck by the way in which islands have been used at different times as sites of quarantine, but also for keeping immigrants at bay, and as penal colonies. I created an archipelago of eight historical quarantine islands, each surrounded by a 'sea' of close-up images and illustrations of the diseases from which they sought sanctuary and protection, preserved in sea salt.

Low res Small Canada Grosse Ile

Canada, Grosse Isle

Low res Small Crete Spinalonga

Crete, Spinalonga

Low res Small Hong Kong Hei Ling Chau

Hong Kwan, Hei Ling Chau

Low res Small Mauritius Flat Island

Mauritius, Flat Island

Low res Small New York Bedloes Island

New York, Bedlow's Island

Low res Small New Zealand Kamau Taurua

New Zealand, Kamau Taurua

Low res Small Venice Lazaretto Nuovo

Venice, Lazaretto Nuovo

Low res Small Venice Lazaretto Vecchio

Venice, Lazaretto Vecchio

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