Pandemik Piks, Deanne Achong, 2020 – commissioned for the City of Vancouver’s Public Art Program “Platforms 2020: Public Works”.
The project consists of 20 digital signage screens over 8 locations sited on a mix of transit shelters and digital screens. The images rotate between advertisements and variations of imagined landscapes.
This work began on Instagram as part of #the100dayProject challenge. My concept was to make something loosely based around the idea of hair. I drew a prong falling out of my hair clip on day 1, echoing my thoughts on the pandemic. As a woman of mixed race*, my hair is super curly and every single hair clip I’ve owned breaks after little usage. For #blacklivesmatter I began scanning, altering and reversing them (making the background black) as a response to ubiquitous and questionable IG “black squares”. These drawings were done on my balcony, and natural backdrop of plants and clouds became part of them. When I started reversing them (in photoshop) they became more about fire. The hair pik and prong drawings (exploding, falling, flowering) now also reflect my thoughts on the world being on fire.
*Afro-Chinese Caribbean (Trini) and Irish (Newfoundland and Labrador) heritage.
I read somewhere that the language around what it means to be bi-racial or multi-racial has improved or found it’s place. I haven’t yet found any words that describe the experience without being either overly literal and descriptive or withdrawing back to that introverted reply to the question I head most growing up ” Where are you from” — my reply: “here”.