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February 10 was the first day back to work in many places outside of Hubei, China. At least hundreds of millions of people have either started working from home or walked into factories or offices wearing masks. It’s a tough choice, and all of us can only choose the relative balance between health and life. On the first day back to work, still hundreds of millions of people are also absent; it is the most profound collective practice for the Chinese people. A new case of pneumonia in Wuhan has turned into a disaster. It is close to all of our hearts and has made this Spring Festival holiday feel especially long.

In the book The Wandering Earth author Liu Cixin wrote: “At first, no one cared. It was nothing more than a mountain fire, a drought, the extinction of a species, the disappearance of a city. Until this disaster touches everyone.”

A question posed online to the Chinese people: “How did you feel on the first day returning to work with this ongoing coronavirus epidemic?”

The most poignant answer was: “There has never been a time, like now, when I have felt I had been too perfunctory in my life. In the future I will work hard to earn money, work, and live seriously.”

Yes, only when the world is quiet, can you hear your own heartbeat.

Only through life or death and sudden changes can you realise the truth of life.

After almost 20 days at home, when the day is suddenly paused, will made you understand life more than ever.

From today on, at least hundreds of millions of people who have not lived seriously before are destined to “disappear” or “missing”.

And you, what is your biggest feeling?

The coronavirus epidemic has not only changed the way society functions; it has changed everyone’s attitude toward the world.

If we say the disaster is inevitable, well, the past 20 days or so have shown the most profound collective practice from the Chinese people.

The artworks below were created by ArtChina artists Yang Qi, Tang Chenghua, and Hou Weiguo in reaction to the epidemic:

Image: Kindheartedness”, oil painting by Yang Qi

Image: Spring is coming”, oil on canvas, 80cm x200cm, by Tang Chenghua

Image: We are all One”, print by Hou Weiguo

We invite all artists who are using their artwork as an outlet for critical reflection or portrayal of the ongoing crisis surrounding the coronavirus to submit work to be included in our series. Please contact Aimin Liu at aimin@artchinauk.com.