Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Artist Statement: Debbie Ding


MAPS WITH/OUT BUILDINGS is a hand-illustrated study of place, the map-making process and natural features as they are commonly represented in topographic maps.

During the years 2008-2010 I collected my dreams in the form of maps and layout plans. As dreams are highly visual, I felt that the only way to adequately document my dreams would be to draw maps of the spaces. At the time when I began this project I was inspired by Bill Hillier's theories on "space syntax", which suggested that the navigability of a space and its isovists (the field of view from any one point) had direct affect over social behaviour within those spaces. Since we spend about a third of our lives sleeping and presumably dreaming (whether or not we remember our dreams), I believe that the dream spaces we experience may also play a significant role in shaping our behaviour in waking life.

One day a friend noted that I hadn't drawn any maps without buildings in them. I realised this was because the only two places I had spent significant time living in (Singapore and London) were both modern, highly dense urban cities, and throughout my entire life I had only the most minimal contact with countrysides.

This is a work that will be produced as I travel through both the city and the countryside (London/Cornwall in UK, Berlin/North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany) - an exploration of the portrayal of place, through a study of maps which do not have any buildings in them. Perhaps by studying maps without buildings, and by envisioning or attempting to visualise landscapes devoid of buildings, one day I will have dreams without buildings in them.

For more information, see: MAPS WITH/OUT BUILDINGS

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