Digital photograph of Esther Li in star pose and Elizabeth Li standing and smiling outside the garage door of their family home in Glen Waverley, 8 November, 2020. Their bicycles are in the background.

One of a set of 12 digital colour photographs of the Li family showing them interacting within their home, outside their house and in their street, on 8 November 2020. The photographs were taken by Catherine Forge to document the family's domestic and neighbourhood life, enhancing the family's own photographs of their chalk drawing activities during the COVID pandemic in 2020 which are also in the Museum's collection.

This image is part of a collection of images, chalk drawing equipment and massage cards relating to the story of the Li family who were caught up in the covid pandemic lockdowns in China during a return visit to see family in January 2020, and then were in self-isolation at home in Glen Waverley in February-March 2020 prior to the broadly applied first wave of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria from late March 2020. The chalk materials were used by Elizabeth and Esther Li to draw pictures in the family's driveway during the restrictions and the images were taken by their parents Zheng and Grace Li to document the activities. Further images document Zheng Li and Grace Ji in China before they migrated to Australia in 2005, the family's first return visit to China in 2020 and their domestic activities during the second lockdown in Melbourne.

Description of Content

Two girls playin in front of garage door, bicycles in background.

Physical Description

Colour digital photograph


Statement of Historical Significance:
This collection provides an insight into how families and communities have interacted during the COVID-19 lockdown in Australia. Creative expressions on streets, in driveways, house windows, and alleyways, by residents has been a common manifestation of community connection during lockdown - chalk drawings on footpaths and in driveways particularly popular. Here the children produced the drawings and photographs were taken by a family member documenting the activities. This collection thus encompasses the experiences, perceptions and voices of children, it represents suburban Melbourne in its geographic location, it demonstrates how families collectively act to participate in their neighbourhoods, and domestic creativity. Finally this story also provides a transnational narrative, with the family moving between countries and experiencing the impacts of the pandemic in two places in two hemispheres. The addition of a collection of high quality professional photographs taken of the whole family interacting in their domestic and neighbourhood environments adds another layer to the story. Finally, the hand-written cards received by the Li family from their local church community represents the important social connections maintained between a family in isolation and their community the Crossway Baptist Church in East Burwood.

More Information