One Has to Wander through All the Outer Worlds to Reach the Innermost Shrine at the End, 2016
Ink on paper, glass and stone
Collection of the Artist
Singapore Biennale 2016 commission
In his creation of maps, Qiu adopts a methodology that incorporates daily experience as well as a philosophical approach to thinking with graphics, and organising relationships and systems of knowledge. This map series presents Qiu’s investigation into cartographic history. From his archaeological analysis of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact theories, to the systemisation of motives, logics and methods of different map-making approaches, he links together history, philosophy, mythology and science. In this work, the artist surfaces two elements underlying the connections between the phantom island, Utopia, and monsters: fear and temptation. While early adventurers and explorers were drawn to distant mysterious lands, their voyages, as they recount, were often interrupted when they encountered uncanny creatures. Qiu’s installation features a handblown glass bestiary of fantastical monsters, imagined as traversing between the mountains and the seas, conjuring a world of mystery that may once have been out there, but has now disappeared.