Roni Ahn’s quarantine in photos
See lockdown in Hong Kong through photographer Roni Ahn's eyes.
HAPPY CAKE SHOP -- LOCAL SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS STILL UP AND RUNNING
Since March, London-based photographer Roni Ahn has been self-isolating with her family in Hong Kong. Roni initially returned to reapply for her UK visa, never intending to stay there this long, but the pandemic blew up in Europe and she found herself on forced leave from her adopted home. “I’m really grateful that I got to spend so much time with my family,” she says, “especially since I’ve been living away from home for the past five years. But I really miss working.” Her photography -- beautiful portraits with pastel colour palettes -- is nostalgic yet kind of otherworldly. Exactly the kind of comforting escapism we need right now.
Given its proximity to the original epicentre of coronavirus, she believes Hong Kong has handled the situation pretty well. “If you go out to the streets, it’ll be much more difficult to spot people who’re not wearing masks than those who are,” Roni says, “even in the sweltering heat”. She adds that hand sanitisers are freely available everywhere, and points out that while they were never on complete lockdown, her and her parents avoided going out for a couple of months, when the number of cases was particularly high. “I think because people were so vigilant in the beginning, Hong Kong has been able to operate somewhat normally throughout the pandemic.”
“The ongoing political climate in Hong Kong, however, has added an additional layer of fear and uncertainty amongst the people,” Roni says. “It honestly feels like a never ending cycle.” Along with the rest of the world, people in Hong Kong are being faced with the difficult task of weighing up the importance of marching for causes they believe in -- in this case challenging both the territory’s leadership and China’s ruling Communist Party -- with the health risk of being in large crowds during a global pandemic.
Aside from documenting her daily life for us, Roni is using this period of time to read, plan future shoots and cook more than usual. “But I’ve spent the majority of my time weaving after buying a loom and watching tutorials online. It’s been my one and only creative outlet for the past few months. I’ve made fifteen wall hangings so far.”