Concept - Close Quarters
What was the first idea of the work, and how did it develop? Identify the main themes and how do you communicate them?
Close Quarters was originally conceptualised as a multi-room apartment replication that simulated the public housing experience in Hong Kong. In response to COVID-19 restrictions, the project developed into a single-room, 360° camera experience, designed to be viewed on personal mobile and computer devices. We explore themes of cultural privilege and confinement in our use of space, sound and movement to create a claustrophobic environment.
Why is this work important? And does it comment of any socio-economic issues? Explain the reasoning behind picking this idea and developing it further.
The devastating global repercussions of COVID-19 can be compared to the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s when considering its effects on Hong Kong. When the team reflected on our experiences with mandated isolation, we were confronted with our cultural privilege. While most Australians were confined to spacious homes and apartments, often with access to green space, the everyday reality in Hong Kong is much bleaker. Due to a massive wealth gap, many Hong Kong citizens live in public housing commissions. Imagine being trapped in a 2m2 box to ride out a terrifying disease, the sounds and shadows of your neighbours pressing against the walls. We wanted to recreate this experience for Australian audiences, drawing a stark parallel between realities.
Photograph by Sophie Roberts