Georgia Southern student’s COVID-19-inspired art exhibit explores nonessential items of everyday life

WSAV NOW

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The challenges impacting many affected by the ongoing pandemic have inspired a Georgia Southern University student to ask everyone the question, “What can you live without?”

Fine arts student Lann Le posed the question in her interactive senior thesis exhibition, which is titled, “Good Without.” 

The unique project will go on display next week as part of a larger student exhibition called “Merkari,” which will feature the work of four other Georgia Southern seniors.

Le’s exhibition explores the items that people say they can live without — a choice many people have had to make due to COVID-19-related life changes.

“Initially, I had another idea for this final show, but with COVID-19, everything passed, my internship passed, school passed,” Le told WSAV NOW.

“I had to go stock up on essential items for months, so [while] going to the grocery [store], watching myself shopping and watching other people shopping is when the question came up: ‘how much do we need? What do we need?’” Le said.

“They’re questions that, even without COVID-19, we ask anyway, but with COVID-19, it’s like a knock on the door to revisit,” she added.

To put the exhibition together, Le had to approach people online and in person, asking them what they can live without and if they’d be willing to share images or physical possessions that show what they’ve considered nonessential during the past few months.

Several people offered images including high-heeled shoes, bras, eyeglasses and musical instruments. The exhibition also includes a few toilet paper rolls, an empty gift bag and an entire drum set submitted by contributors.

One person shared a photo of a watch to indicate that she can do without time, Le said.

“I shared this with my mentor and we had a long conversation over just, you know, time, and I think her submission is sending me a lesson and observation, and then it opened up to an even better conversation with other people,” Le said.

She hopes the remainder of her exhibition, which opens to the public at the Armstrong Campus Fine Arts Gallery from Nov. 9 through Dec. 4, will evoke similar reactions from everyone who visits and participates in it.

“That’s the best thing, to come in and you’re like, ‘oh how crazy, somebody can live without a pillow!’ and start up a conversation,” Le said. “That would be amazing.”

“I prefer to treat these as the decorations they were meant to be — perfect for a windowsill!” a contributor wrote along with an image of a high heel.

Although the broader “Merkari” exhibition ends in December, Le wants her interactive project to continue until next August.

The senior encourages people to continue sharing their photos, stories and objects with her until then.

“This pandemic is crazy, it’s historical and it’s changed people’s lives,” Le said, adding, “People have a lot of questions in their minds, and I think it’s a good time to reflect back and take a deeper look into life.”

To contact Lann Le and view more images from the “Good Without” exhibition, visit Le’s Instagram page, @goodwithout2020, or GoodWithout.site.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories