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PLoS Medicine Issue Image | Vol. 3(5) May 2006

PLoS Medicine Issue Image | Vol. 3(5) May 2006

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Stars with SARS.

I began working on this series of images in 2003. They began as an initial response to the striking images I had been seeing in news media and in advertising, both of which often appeared in the same publication. I began collecting images that caught my eye, and then began to turn photocopies of those images, along with drawings, into collages. My aim with this series was to create a series of works that one immediately responds to visually. At the time, I wanted to capture the chaos that was being reported through photojournalists' images, and the relationship these images had with those images advertising luxury that were presented alongside them. The closer I examined this relationship, the more ironic it became. As a citizen of the developed world, I felt saddened by the fact that while we sit in our comfortable homes filled with the latest technologies, we are entertained by the tragedies our news services report to us. In developing this series, the works became about how our personal interior spaces have become invaded by both of these types of images, to the point where one feels unable to escape.

This particular piece of the series was made at the height of the SARS epidemic, and features an appropriation of an image taken during the funeral of a very popular performer in Hong Kong, who committed suicide at that time. Simultaneously, Australia was getting involved with the war in Iraq and that period of time seemed very confusing. I became very interested in what was happening with SARS because I had recently been living in Beijing, China, and was quite concerned about my friends who were over there, and felt quite personally affected by the situation.

Image Credit: Tammy Wong

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Stars with SARS.

I began working on this series of images in 2003. They began as an initial response to the striking images I had been seeing in news media and in advertising, both of which often appeared in the same publication. I began collecting images that caught my eye, and then began to turn photocopies of those images, along with drawings, into collages. My aim with this series was to create a series of works that one immediately responds to visually. At the time, I wanted to capture the chaos that was being reported through photojournalists' images, and the relationship these images had with those images advertising luxury that were presented alongside them. The closer I examined this relationship, the more ironic it became. As a citizen of the developed world, I felt saddened by the fact that while we sit in our comfortable homes filled with the latest technologies, we are entertained by the tragedies our news services report to us. In developing this series, the works became about how our personal interior spaces have become invaded by both of these types of images, to the point where one feels unable to escape.

This particular piece of the series was made at the height of the SARS epidemic, and features an appropriation of an image taken during the funeral of a very popular performer in Hong Kong, who committed suicide at that time. Simultaneously, Australia was getting involved with the war in Iraq and that period of time seemed very confusing. I became very interested in what was happening with SARS because I had recently been living in Beijing, China, and was quite concerned about my friends who were over there, and felt quite personally affected by the situation.

Image Credit: Tammy Wong

https://doi.org/10.1371/image.pmed.v03.i05.g001