Project Description

GRACE LEE, Lockdown 2, 2020

How has Covid-19 affected you?
Throughout this year I have been working at home due to Covid-19. I usually work as a 20th century photography curator with Terence Pepper and many exhibitions have been postponed. However, it has meant that I can focus more on research and have extra time to paint.

What lessons has Covid-19 taught you so far?
I am grateful for my local Nichiren Buddhist friends who I have been attending weekly, sometimes daily, Zoom calls with. In these meetings we have been discussing the link between the body and mind, expressing the importance of a positive outlook despite chaotic situations. I think I have become a lot stronger mentally because of these challenges, and also feel somewhat closer to my family and friends because it has forced me to become better at phone calls. I have also really enjoyed long walks by the river, in the woods and my local neighbourhood.

Who do you live with?
I live with my amazing mother and am thankful we have such a close relationship. At the beginning of the lockdown earlier this year, we would regularly dress up in sequins, feathers, elaborate jewellery and vintage dresses to liven up ourselves and enjoyed many family Zoom calls, loud music dances and drunken fashion photoshoots in our decaying bathtub.

What do you miss the most?
I miss going out at night with my friends to dance. The freedom of walking into a bar or restaurant without having to pre-book or be with a bubble. I was never good at planning in advance, but Covid-19 has made me more aware of time in this way. Most of all, I miss visiting my family and being able to hug them.

Tell me a bit about your current situation
It is now Tier 4 in London and I have some time off work for Christmas, so for the next few weeks I will be focusing on my abstract paintings. I find it so calming to paint and draw circles, I believe everything in life has this cyclical nature. It calms me to know that Covid-19 will one day pass, and this is the mystic rhythm of the universe that is constantly changing. Nichiren Buddhism has taught me to embrace life in this way, and to keep chanting Nam Myh Renge Ky for worldwide peace.

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