In a world of lockdown and closed borders, art is proving to cross any barrier.
This is the theme of a special Community Art Exhibition called "Apart in Space, Together by Art" which was quietly launched at the Clive James Library at Kogarah on Tuesday.
The exhibition, which is on display from Tuesday, July 28 July to August 14, features the work of 18 artists, most of them from the Georges River area.
Last Tuesday afternoon, some of those 18 local artists together with Georges River Councillor Nancy Liu met up on site to celebrate this special occasion even though there was no official opening.
Complying with current social distancing and other restrictions by the government, they presented themselves in small groups and most of the time wearing face masks.
Councillor Liu said, "There is no boundary to artworks. During the tough time of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are even more needing something inspiring to feel being connected.
"In the Georges River area, there is a group of artists belonging to an organization called 'Australia Chinese Heritage Paper On Art Club Inc.' whose core members consists of Ginger Li, Xiangrong Xu, Fanming With and Zhongheng Zhang.
"They all have their own careers and family businesses and duties, gathering together, out of similar interests and hobbies to create artistic works in their spare time.
"They set up a cultural project named 'Mobile Colour Plate - Art and Food' which has been endorsed by the Health Department of NSW government under its initiative of 'Doing It Differently' and proudly supported by the George River Council. "
Australia Chinese Heritage Paper On Art Club president Ginger Li said that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic struck the globe in 2019 and 2020, everything came to a sudden stop and people's lives were abruptly interrupted.
"Depression, panic, doubt and anger could not describe enough people's emotional state at the time," she said.
"Our group has been conducting the activities via a monthly on-line art exhibition and food demonstration.
"These projects have presented a different artistic scene with a variety of rich contents and professional artistic standards during the awfully depressing and boring time period.
"When looking at these artistic works, one can imagine the joyful feelings amongst people who have been in isolation inside their homes.
"They felt a loving and caring touch and the encouragement as they took part in these activities online. They saw the light of hope in loneliness.
"The activities have genuinely promoted communication and exchange amongst people in the community and provided them with artistic and spiritual support and encouragement at the anxious time of job losses.
"Art sharing breaks barriers between ethnic groups and borders between nations, and it does not differentiate colours of people.
"Care for all lives, respect universal values and concern with common future of humankind."
This is also the main theme of this live exhibition as well as a unique online exhibition which features more than 150 pieces of art works created by more than 70 artists who are from different racial and cultural backgrounds.
Some of them are local Chinese artists and some are from other Australian ethic groups. There are also some outstanding artists from other parts of the world. The objective of the works is to bridge division, eliminate hatred, bear the pressure together and offer encouragement.
The local artists exhibiting are: John Dublewicz,Guan Wei,James Gao, Simon Hua, Pin Hsun Hsiang, Qinghua Hu, Lucia Han, Jenny Jiang, Ginger Li, Sam Lai, Fangmin Wu, Wang Yi, John Wang, James Wang, Peter Yu, John Zhang, Kaijiang Zhu and Michael Zhang.