The Window connects HeJun’s childhood memories with the quarantine experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking at the window has become one of the most important and direct ways for people to communicate with the outside world physically during this special period of time.
This experience also evokes HeJun’s childhood memories. HeJun was sent to a boarding school at the age of 4, and looking through the window was one of the only ways for him to connect with the outside world. He observed how light changed every sunset; what people were doing in the back kitchen; how the outside became bustling with noise and back to darkness and silence at midnight, all through the window next to his bed.
In the process of making The Window, HeJun was sent to a quarantine hospital in China because he exhibited symptoms of the Covid virus. The loneliness and helplessness Lin felt in the isolation ward strengthened the connection in his mind of his process of photographically recording the view from windows in his apartment in Oakland, California that reflect his emotional changes, especially the inner pain, discomfort, or anxiety that people usually disregard.
When HeJun returned to Guangzhou, the place he grew up, he decided to go back to his kindergarten and take some photos. However, he did not get the permission to get in. “It is ironic, I want to get in there as much as I wanted to get out from there when I was young, I was stuck inside the window for so long, and now I am stuck outside the window.” The quarantine experience has changed HeJun’s life habits, and looking out from the window has become one of his important activities daily. He decided to keep taking photos of his bedroom window in Guangzhou. “When I am looking through the window, what I see is the reflection of myself.”