New exhibition paints pandemic through children’s eyes

Artwork from the Coronavirus in Children’s Eyes exhibition

Click on the image to view gallery.

Western Sydney University’s Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture in partnership with Jeffrey Chen Art Studio, Art Wonderland Studio and Bingbing Art Studio has launched a new audio-visual exhibition, Coronavirus in Children’s Eyes.

The digital exhibition features 20 unique artworks created by youths aged six to 16 years old from the three community-based art studios in Sydney. The artworks include drawings, cartoons and comics, and are accompanied by a voice narration from each artist and music also by young musicians.

Professor Jing Han, Director of the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture, said the exhibition is part of a broader collection of over 80 pieces that capture the pandemic from the perspectives of the young artists.

“The children involved in the project expressed a range of responses to the crisis, from sadness to empathy and hope for the future. The artworks are touching, emotive and creative,” said Professor Han.

“This exhibition is something we can all benefit from. It has provided the children with a creative way to express their feelings during this difficult time, and offers insight into our diverse experiences of the pandemic. Many of the artworks were finished while the children spent time at home.”

The 20 exhibited pieces were selected by a panel including Yin Cao, Director of Chinese Art Division of NSW Art Gallery; Monica McMahon, Art Curator at Western Sydney University; Bingbing Chen, Director of Bingbing Art Studio; Jeffrey Chen, Director of Jeffrey Chen Art Studio; and Heli Yang, Director of Art Wonderland Studio.

Artist Jaylan Yang added texture and colours and light and shadow to his piece, ‘A smile to share’, while he was at home. The 12-year-old said the artwork was inspired by his little sister’s unwavering happiness during this unpredictable and peculiar time.

“Her happiness spread to me when I was cooped up at home. A blessing to me when being drowned in school work and anxiety,” said Jaylan.

“Her face in the painting shows happiness and innocence. I have used warm colours to symbolise happiness, comfort and sociability: all traits of my sister.”

Professor Deborah Sweeney, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International at Western Sydney University, said the exhibition was an important collaboration between community art organisations and the University.

“Strengthening connections within our community and supporting young people during this time is vital. This exhibition of youth art provides us with a refreshing perspective on the global pandemic and I congratulate the young artists involved,” said Professor Sweeney.

To view the digital exhibition, Coronavirus in Children’s Eyes, visit the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture website (opens in a new window).


16 July 2020

Ali Sardyga, Media Officer