History and Culture

A British artist's cartographic love letter to Beijing

2017-05-27 10:13:00 (Beijing Time)         Xinhua

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A British artist who works under the mononym Fuller has been called a psychogeographer, someone who creates a geographical work driven by emotion and behavior rather than function or form. It is not a label he applies to himself.

"Someone once described my work as a 'cartographic love letter', I liked this description because having a relationship with the place I draw is at the heart of everything I do," Fuller, 36, told Xinhua.

Fuller first came to Beijing in 2014. "It was like being a teenager," he said. "Like when you meet somebody and instantly develop a crush on them."

Call it what you like -- love at first sight, a crush, infatuation -- it is a feeling that almost always peters out, but when it doesn't, very special things can happen.

After that ten-day holiday romance three years ago, Fuller is back to prove his love.

Step one of his plan was to walk the entire length of the sixth-ring road and draw a picture, a picture not only of the geography, architecture and infrastructure he encountered but of his own experiences and emotions. It is a picture of what he sees and what he feels: He calls it #Walkinprogress.

KNOWING THE DANCER FROM THE DANCE

"When I was young, I had a passion to explore," he said. He knew it was a hunger that would not be sated in a lecture hall or library carrel, so at 17 he left school.

For almost a decade, Fuller made time for art alongside his fulltime career. While his jobs were varied, a theme eventually emerged: Fuller likes to tell stories.