Jasmine Poole

I Am Not a Virus

Graffitied across a construction site:  “Go home you yellow dog” . 

Yelled at a woman in a car, “Go back to where you came from, you dirty cunt, you dirty monkey”. 

“You fucking Chinese, you bring the virus over”, slurred to a woman on the train. 

Spat on, pushed, punched. These are just a handful of racist incidents from the hundreds reported that have happened in Australia since the outbreak of COVID-19. It is without doubt that hundreds more go unreported. 

As an Australian of Chinese background I am aware that Asians, especially women, are often perceived as meek, an easy target because they don’t fight back. This work is in reaction to the current rise of racism and a way to fight back. It is also made in solidarity with all current movements against racism both in Australia and abroad.

Jasmine Poole is a multidisciplinary artist and photographer based in Sydney, Australia. She studied at the St George School of Fine Art and later at COFA University of New South Wales where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Photomedia) with Distinction. 
Her practice predominantly explores the act of storytelling and the sociology of space and objects. Her works have been selected for inclusion in many prizes including Head On, The Moran, Olive Cotton Award, Sydney Life (Art & About) and Fishers Ghost. In 2018, she was awarded The Head On NSW Photographic Landscape Prize, which can now be viewed at Parliament NSW as part of their permanent collection. 

To see more of her work please visit:

www.jasminepoole.com.au and @jasmine_poole on Insta.

2 thoughts on “Jasmine Poole

  1. I have not seen this side of racism at all,and as a fellow Australian,I am so sorry.
    I like the sign saying “I am not a virus.”
    I don’t really know,but rather
    than post the examples of racism, which are negatives,advertise your work along with your sign of not being a virus(?) Which are positives.
    Sylvia Luscombe🌺


    1. Hi Sylvia,

      Thanks for your interest in Jasmine Poole’s work – I am Not a Virus. Jasmine has asked me to respond to your message on her behalf. She is grateful for your comment regarding her experience of racism in Australia. In terms of her artwork, it is a commentary on what is going on in Australia, with specific reference to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The point of her artwork is around pushing back some of the negativity she has felt at the mercy of ignorant peoples racism.

      Contemporary art can be challenging, intriguing and confusing. It often asks us to question things we potentially take for granted or don’t immediately consider. In this situation, to remove the negative from the artwork, as you suggest, might detract from its impact. The power of Jasmine’s words reinforce the lunacy surrounding Asian Australian’s being blamed for a pandemic and as such are an integral part of the work. And the brief for this project was to reference the current COVID reality. We believe that this artwork does so, highly effectively.

      Jasmine has an incredible wealth of work and she has collaborated with Tortuga Studios on countless occasions. I hope that some of her other work – listed below – appeals to you more.

      Please do not hesitate to get in touch if we can provide any further information.


      H Morgan-Harris



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