Portraits of Isolation: Artists’ Expression During Extraordinary Times

Continuing our series of self-portraits in isolation, we’re sharing work from artists in Hong Kong, London, and Chicago. Below are just a few glimpses into how creative expression is helping them during this time.


Graham Chapman – Chicago

Graham Chapman Trope Chicago City Edition

Since I can’t be out on the street taking pictures, I started looking around the house for ways to keep creative and also step outside of my comfort zone. Queue the selfie! I’m normally behind the camera, so I decided to play around take some self-portraits.

Graham Chapman Covid-19



Lucy Hamidzadeh — London

Lucy Hamidzadeh Trope London

Creativity has always helped me through solitude, to find comfort and to make sense of my surroundings when I don’t really know what’s going on. Even though I long to be out on the streets capturing people and moments with my camera, being stuck at home and unable to travel has forced me more than ever to look at my immediate surroundings, to see beauty in familiarity, to capture moments of my family, to edit old memories and to just sit quietly (after getting some daily exercise) to read or write. I feel it gives an outlet where I know I’ll feel both safe and challenged at the same time. 

Lucy Hamidzadeh Trope London, Unfinished Stories



Varun Thota — Hong Kong

Varun Thota Trope Hong Kong

With the Hong Kong lockdown in place since January and moving to work from home constantly, for me, being creative has moved from using photography as a medium to reinventing myself in times like these. The majority of my focus on expressing my creativity is at my full-time job (which I continue to be thankful for), but I’ve had to find new ways of keeping to my gym routine (which meant buying and then carrying 10kg dumbbells up a flight of stairs every morning to my building’s garden), or turning to YouTube to find new recipes to start cooking, and now even setting up our little minibar at home! I’ve spent more time with Candy, with the cats, talking to my family over FaceTime, but also improving and finding ways on giving back to the community in some way or another.

Varun Thota Trope Hong Kong



Eren Sarigul — London

Eren Sarigul Trope London, Trope Tokyo, Across Japan

I’ve used this period of being locked down indoors as a means to begin a new creative venture into making short films and getting in front of the camera too. I feel that learning new creative outlets is so important and that limitations can actually breed creativity. Being creative during this time gives me a task to do every single day and keeps me on my toes mentally too



Irwin Chan — Hong Kong

Irwin Chan Trope Hong Kong

I’ve always used creativity as a means of ‘escape’, translating my feelings and emotions into the photos I produce. This has been a very important part of my motivation to get up every morning and stay productive. Living alone in a time of uncertainty has had its difficulties. Being able to embark on personal projects with this extra time and connecting with other like-minded creatives in the process has been a blessing in disguise. There are definitely positives amongst the negatives in our world of late, we just have to work together and unite as a collective, bounce back and make the world a better place.



A special ‘Thanks’ goes out to all of the photographers and artists for submitting their portraits and images during this pandemic.