Jasphy Zheng
Stories from the Room 2020 (detail)
Center for Contemporary Art, Kitakyushu, Japan
Photo: Ken’ichi Miura
Courtesy the artist

Stories from the Room

Past Exhibitions
17 December 2020 - 31 January 2021

From the depths of Melbourne’s COVID-19 Stage 4 lockdown, TarraWarra Museum of Art commissioned a new series of artistic inquiries that explore the role of art in a global pandemic. The series, titled Art as essential activity: an inquiry, is conceived and curated by Melbourne-based independent curator Biljana Ciric.

The first project in the series is New York/China-based Chinese-American artist Jasphy Zheng with Stories from the Room, a participatory work that collects personal writings about the shared experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic. During Melbourne’s second lockdown, the artist invited everyone to permanently contribute their reflections, journals, or memos to help build a living archive that documents this unique moment in history.

Originally meant to be presented as an archive that you can touch, browse through and spend time with, due to COVID-19 safety measures we are unable to provide physical engagement with the archive at this time. The archive is now on display outside the Museum, connecting it to the strong presence of the courtyard columns and creating a monument to our times.

As these submissions become worn by weather, they will be replaced by new submissions, offering a changing display of writings and challenging perceptions of the static archive.

Submissions remain open for Stories from the Room and you can participate by simply documenting your reflections on living through the COVID-19 pandemic through letters, emails, personal writing, journals or memos, at any length and in any language you prefer.

Send your writings to storiesfromtheroom@twma.com.au or by post to Stories from the Room, c/- TarraWarra Museum of Art, PO Box 310, Healesville VIC 3777, Australia.

Please ensure your communication is dated, with your name and location only. Do not include any private details (such as street address, telephone or email) in the letter, which may be exhibited at the Museum. Anonymous quotes may be published online or used for promotional purposes. All received writing will be saved in an archive as physical copies, and each contributor will have a dedicated folder for recurring contributions. Submissions will not be returned to the sender, and will remain as part of the artwork.

The Story Visit