Project info 本館簡介
On “usual” stay-at-home life
Now that we spend so much more time at home, on top of habitually checking the news about the pandemic, we also start to review our stay-at-home life, or discover new sides of things we thought we were familiar with: you realize that the dirt marks on the wall are not permanent – they can be removed by rubbing them with an eraser; not every plant on the balcony needs to be watered daily – you only need to keep the soil moist. Staying at home in such tranquillity makes us feel our distance from the external world; as we are now at home at abnormal times, we notice the activities of people/things at different times of the day: the thrift store owner appears and rings their bell every Thursday at noon; the neighbourhood cats purr at 3 every day; there is one neighbour who makes loud noise with a cleaver; the over-10-year-old fridge roars from time to time; the street at midnight seems unusually quiet.
On “usual” social life
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the frequency with which people have gone out has drastically decreased in order to avoid unnecessary contact with others. The places where people now usually go are limited to areas near their household, their workplace, and where they get their daily supplies. When we visit the supermarket, there are often people contemplating the empty shelves or questioning the shopkeepers about arrival dates of new supplies. The unending advertisements are no longer broadcast in the supermarket, and instead we can clearly hear the sounds of people’s activities: the banging noise made by closing fridge doors, the rustling sound of plastic bags, to name but a few. People now return home immediately after doing their grocery shopping. However, staying at home for too long also makes people depressed, and this is why more and more people are visiting the countryside and outlying islands for a “retreat”. Long queues and a large amount of rubbish have been spotted along some remote mountain trails. The distance between the people on these trails is closer than between those walking along the streets, and they can probably hear each other’s breath from behind their masks. There are also a number of people who love to play music loudly during trekking – are there reasons why we listen not to the sounds of nature? Now there are fewer people walking along the streets, we can hear most of them speaking Cantonese; and arriving at the Star Ferry Pier the sound of the waves has never been so clear.
The Library by soundpocket is collecting sounds of “usual” life during pandemic, the collected materials will then be shared on The Library website.
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