A Scottish artist with Chinese heritage says he has experienced racist abuse during the pandemic, with people shouting “coronavirus” at him.
Frank To told BBC Scotland’s Drivetime the pandemic had “brought out a lot of resentment” and people were “pointing fingers towards China”.
The 38-year-old says referring to the virus as Chinese, or branding it “the Wuhan flu”, has racist connotations.
He says he sometimes retorts with “mad cow disease” to make a point.
Mr To, from Falkirk, says: “I’m actually getting a little bit annoyed at the fact that people are branding all Orientals as the carriers of the coronavirus. That is not true.
“I’m not a virus. I am a human being, and that’s what I’d like to be referred to [as], not a virus.”
Mr To said his family owned a takeaway on the south side of Glasgow and it had been affected by abuse linked to the pandemic.
The artist has created work that claims the UK government letters sent out during the pandemic were effectively a waste of money and resources.
The letters cost about £5.7m to print and distribute to the UK’s 66 million residents.
Mr To says that by the time people received the letters most had already applied the recommended measures such as social distancing and the government documents were immediately disregarded as “trash”.
He said he wanted to depict animals and insects on the letters to make the point that the pandemic had inadvertently helped the world’s eco-system.
“We now have almost zero pollution smog in India, dolphins are swimming in the canals of Venice, stags are now coming into people’s gardens in Paisley,” he said.