as the long shadow of COVID-19 touches each and every one of our lives, we are being forced to make some very difficult decisions. to illustrate the ongoing tug of war between lives and livelihoods, huei yin wong has taken some of the world’s top stock markets and embroidered their rapid declines onto the fabric of a face mask. the project essentially asks one question, what is more valuable, our health or our wealth?
all images courtesy of huei yin wong
from the new york stock exchange (NYSE) to the nikkei 225 index in tokyo, the series highlights the global effect of this pandemic. as people are urged to stay safe at home and many businesses are forced to remain closed, world leaders are faced with difficult decisions to keep populations both safe from the virus and safe from economic turmoil.
in this project, titled ‘lives or livelihoods’, huei yin wong puts these questions to the viewer. composed using just simple white face masks and red thread, the images evoke the essential question of life or death. ‘how many lives are we willing to sacrifice for the economy? how many dreams will we ruin to control an infection? what, exactly, is the price of a human life?’ – huei yin wong.
project name: lives and livelihoods
design: huei yin wong