- Artist Tiffany Chung
- Title The Routes of WG Palgrave Through the Gulf 1862–1863
- Date 2012
- Medium Micropigment ink, gel ink and oil marker on vellum and paper
- Dimensions 71 X 88 cm
- Credit Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
In her meticulously detailed cartographic drawings, Tiffany Chung uses bright, cheerful colours that belie her often serious and traumatic subject matter: the aftermath of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods and the psychic and physical traces of war and political violence. Working from found sources such as old city maps and official surveys, Chung incorporates specific historical and geologic events as well as cultural memories and future predictions, revealing cartography as a discipline that draws on the realms of perception and fantasy as much as geography.
Chung usually starts a cartographic project by researching the history of a particular city, its current state of development and future planning projects. She then searches for topographic maps, urban planning charts, geospatial statistic cartograms and other graphs from specific periods in the city’s history that she would like to survey, as Chung always combines and juxtaposes maps from different time periods in her work. Occasionally, Chung would create fictional maps based on a city’s future development projects if its urban planning charts are unavailable. Once the needed maps are found, Chung examines their layouts and historical context carefully, scrutinizing technical details but allowing unexpected narratives to build the conceptual framework. She executes her map drawings in the same manner as a cartographer, using grids to ensure that the original maps’ layouts will be rendered accurately and precisely. Colorful lines and dots are then added, using ink and oil, which are coded as in a map’s legend to indicate important information that is hidden. The various dots also refer to microorganisms, suggesting life.