Zero 〇

"They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us.”"

On May 24th, 2020, the front page of The New York Times listed names and biographical details of 1,000 individuals that had died as victims of Covid-19. The number was not the point; the point was that behind the names were real lives that had lived. The front-page article, “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, An Incalculable Loss”, shocked America on that day as well as the whole world. 

Inspired by this article, I began to re-examine the relationships between individual memory and collective memory, which also served as the starting point of the project. When a disaster is presented as a number count of death cases, what does all this mean to a family or even a country? It’s not only presented as a slideshow that depicts daily lives that cannot be re-enacted again as well as the numbers printed on publications that keep going up, but also presented as the mental breakdowns of family members as well as the anxiety that has grown exponentially. The personal memories that were documented individually or neglected were in opposition to, but also constituting part of the shared memories of the public. The two of them may merge together in the process of circulating and sharing, and they also bear the inevitable possibilities of being dismantled, distorted, and erased at the same time. Individual memories are rewritten, as the death toll rises up tragically. Despite the fact that we no longer had a chance to ask Michel Foucault “Who has the right and ability to reshape the shared memories of the public in the post-truth era?”, it is a question that deserves an answer.


Silk | 35mm Slides | Carousel Slide Projector | Rubber Gloves

40×74 cm

Using Format