Shanghai-based entrepreneur and creative Siu Tang received a not-so-cheerful surprise on Christmas Eve. Thanks to a business trip to Xi’an, a city in northwest China with a recent Covid-19 outbreak numbering in the hundreds, he was summoned for preventive quarantine.
Out of respect for public health, he hastily packed his bags, said goodbye to his wife and children and announced his short absence in an update on WeChat.
“So I’ve been locked up for 6-14 days on vacation in a hotel all by myself…I miss my wife and kids on the most special vacation when it comes to being with family,” Tang lamented in his WeChat post.
On the first night, the prospect of isolation and separation from her family on Christmas Day caused a minor panic attack. “It took me to some pretty dark places, so I started doing meditation, which helped calm my breathing and then my mind,” Tang told Us via WeChat text messages.
He started drawing to externalize the thoughts swirling in his mind.
On Christmas Day, Siu was sitting alone – staring out the window at generic gray buildings, and he decided to do something to improve the lackluster view.
A headhunter turned artist, Siu co-founded one of Shanghai’s hippest creative agencies with his wife in 2012.
Siu says his busy work schedule kept him from doing his “daily doodles,” which he used to kick off every morning for 30 minutes before the agency grew.
But in quarantine, time was in abundance. Using Procreate on an iPad, he developed a fantasy world outside the hotel room window, turning quarantine daydreams into illustrated scenes of monster battles.
The illustrations were posted on WeChat and Instagram as videos, showing the whole creative process. His works featured dragons, cats, and unicorns, and each was finished with a sign that read “this view sucks!”
Siu’s advice to others coping with the Covid-19 quarantine: stay positive, pack an HDMI cord, a yoga mat and, most importantly, a spoon – otherwise you’ll be stirring your tea with a toothbrush.
Siu Tang is the founder and executive director of the creation of The orange fishan award-winning independent creative agency based in Shanghai, with teams around the world.
All images courtesy of Siu Tang