Self-Quarantined in Beijing: Ep. 1, Turning In | Coronavirus | SupChina
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Self-Quarantine in Beijing: Episode 1, Turning In

I’ve been illustrating this “Self-Quarantine in Beijing” series since the beginning of last month. These drawings have helped me put up with an otherwise strikingly boring routine. This is the first of a series of episodes about life in China during the coronavirus outbreak.

SQ1

Hi, I’m Donal. Just Donal.

你好,我叫大拿
Nǐ hǎo, wǒ jiào dà ná

Self-quarantine can be tough on the nerves. But one can always turn to dreams:

SQ2

Crane soaring over Chinese Landscape

No one knows where this epidemic is leading, whether it’ll become a global pandemic, or when daily life will return to normal.

SQ3

“Smog”

SQ4

Solitude

But self-quarantine is an opportunity to explore one’s creativity.

I went to Sanlitun Dirty Bar Street, which no longer exists, then to the Temple of Heaven, where the trees smiled at me. I flew to Sichuan to see the Sleeping Buddha, then biked back to Beijing along a moonlit path:

SQ5

The power of imagination

I reshaped my room. Now in order to get to the kitchen I need to pass by a chain of mountains, cross a bridge, and dodge Pac-Man. But I am quite surprised when, at the end of the day, my phone screen shows I’ve only made 283 steps:

SQ6

283 steps

It can get lonely at times, like during Valentine’s Day.

SQ7

When “self-care” is taken too far

And at times, thought itself is a disease:

SQ8

Corona-donal

Thoughts can turn nasty, especially when they’re given space to fester. We have to do our best to stay vigilant against the darker forces inside our minds.

SQ9

Thought Bat-tle

We have to try our best, which includes keeping perspective and a sense of humor.

SQ10

Am I too Yin?

Many of the thermal guns used in malls, restaurants, etc. don’t seem to properly register our temperatures.

Has self-quarantine for a month turned me into a cold-blooded creature?


Self-Quarantine in Beijing is a series of illustrations by Donal Turner. Episode 2 is here:

Self-Quarantine in Beijing: Episode 2, Noticing

Donal Turner

Donal Turner is a French artist based in Beijing, currently finishing a Master's degree from the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He has lived in China for 12 years, including Dalian, Chengdu, and Quanzhou.

2 Comments

  1. Miranda Edison Reply

    Where the heck is Xi Jinping? He hasn’t been in the guardian, ny times, independent for weeks. No photos. Nothing.

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