A unique project started by a Philippines-based artist on Instagram using the humble toilet paper provides artists and non-artists a creative outlet during the COVID-19 lockdown. The toilet paper, much the centre of attention during the Corona virus crisis, has arrived in a big way.
This is the story of paper! An online art exhibition, run anonymously, on Instagram and called the “Paper Panic Project” has become a big hit with artists in the Philippines who are using the platform to express their creativity. The view sometimes border on the political. The online exhibition has brought to the fore one of the most essential commodities in a Corona-struck world: Toilet Paper.
The transformation of the humble toilet paper, often consigned to the innards of a home or a hotel, is almost magical. The toilet paper comes to life with multicoloured illustrations and broad strokes of creative interpretations of the current crisis.
“I thought of collecting works on tissue/toilet paper as a record of the time, a kind of diary of what’s happening using visual language — drawings, illustrations, and videos during this pandemic,” the Quezon City-based artist who curates the collection has been reported as saying.
“I started the project on March 11, a few days before the announcement of the Metro Manila-wide lockdown on the 15th. During that time, I already saw many people started to panic, which is why I named the project ‘Paper Panic’”.
The project started off with the curator sending direct messages to artists and friends asking them to contribute to the toilet paper project. Following the submissions by a number of artists on Instagram, others followed suit and began share and follow the account. The account can be seen here. “I want the platform to be about solidarity. It’s important to have a voice and vision using art and creativity to archive the time,” the curator added.