Conjugation : Shanghai Metro (2017)

Hot-melt Adhesive (HMA)
500mm x 400mm x 45mm

This series was the beginning of using HMA to create topography on canvas. It began in Shanghai during an artist residency, when I traveled around the city a lot using the Shanghai Metro lines. I began to question our ability to travel from one place to another, how often it is taken for granted in our everyday routine and that despite continuous and growing levels of movement back and forth from place to place, this behaviour of commuting generally receives little attention. Even, the infrastructure in place, that allows us to function, is something we hardly think twice about.

Each of the canvases features the 14 different metro lines found in Shanghai (circa. July 2017). They were traced off China’s Baidu Maps and repeatedly layered again and again, creating a sculpture on canvas. The original traced metro line has eventually been buried under the new layers that move upwards and outwards, expressing the idea of how things slowly go unnoticed over time. A gradual movement outwards from the original line represents the effect a metro line has on the surrounding area – from accessibility created to dependency from the people. The stacking of layers and distortion from the centre symbolise the many different ways, besides commuting, people use the metro.

The layers are intentionally laid to resemble topography of a mountain or a hill as on a map. As such, each piece figuratively is a map of and on a map.