Have you ever thought what Google Maps can tell us about the hopes, dreams and goals of our collective society?
Well, how about this. If we were to unravel a map made by a cartographer in China during the 17th, what insights could we garner from the map about daily life at the time? Could we gain a better understanding of the psyche of a civilization witness to unprecedented societal changes?
This summer the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Art and Design is holding an exhibit that ventures to answer that question. The exhibit, entitled ‘All Under Heaven All under Heaven: The Chinese World in Maps’ presents works from from the collection of Floyd Sully, a Canadian who has long been fascinated by historical representations of China.
CJSR’s Trevor Chow-Fraser received a guided tour of the collection from Floyd Sully himself.
They discussed some of the more impressive works of art in the collection, and how they are different from road maps were used to, and what they said about China in the late empire.