Transcript: The Socially Conscious Cartography of Tiffany Chung | Apr 24, 2019

Logo: TVF International.

A clip shows different colourful materials appearing in diamond sections in the screen. The name of the show reads "Brilliant Ideas."

A song plays I-D-E-A-S
IDEAS

(music plays)

A Female Narrator says TIFFANY CHUNG IS
AMBITIOUS, SHE'S UNCONVENTIONAL
AND SHE CONSTANTLY PUSHES
BOUNDARIES, AND HER ICONIC
CARTOGRAPHIC WORK IS MAKING
SWIFT HEADWAY ON THE
INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE.

Siuli says TIFFANY'S MAPS ARE NOT
JUST STRAIGHTFORWARD MAPS.
I WOULD ACTUALLY SAY THEY ARE
MORE OF PALIMPSESTS BECAUSE THEY
COLLAPSE DIFFERENT PERIODS IN
TIME, THEY COLLAPSE HISTORIES,
THEY COLLAPSE MEMORIES AND
TESTIMONIES FROM PEOPLE.

Quynh says IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT
PRESENTING SOMETHING THAT'S
VISUALLY BEAUTIFUL, BUT IT'S
SOMETHING THAT'S SO MUCH MORE
PROFOUND, AND I THINK THAT
SPEAKS VERY HIGHLY ABOUT HER AS
AN ARTIST.

Fast clips show a picture of female teenagers wearing school uniforms, artistic maps, visitors in a gallery and dancers performing a contemporary piece.

Erik says I WOULD DESCRIBE TIFFANY
CHUNG'S WORK AS AN INNOVATIVE
MIX OF CREATIVITY, PLAYFULNESS,
AND AT THE SAME TIME, EXTREMELY
SERIOUS ENGAGEMENT WITH COMPLEX
ISSUES.

Russel says I THINK TIFFANY WILL BE
REMEMBERED AS AN ARTIST WITH AN
ENORMOUS SOCIAL CONSCIENCE AND
SOMEONE WHO'S REALLY BEEN ABLE
TO CAPTURE SOME OF THE MOST
SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES OF OUR
TIME.

A clip shows a pathway in the countryside.

A caption reads "This is the airstrip where my dad taxied his H-34 frequently in 1970. It's so exciting that I'm on it now!"

The Narrator says TIFFANY'S WORK SPANS ACROSS
MANY MEDIUMS, FROM FILMS TO
SCULPTURES, CHOREOGRAPHY, TO
CARTOGRAPHY AND FROM PHOTOS TO
ARCHITECTURE.
SHE IS NOT YOUR ORDINARY
ARTIST.

Tiffany Chung is in her late forties, with short brown hair. She wears a pale lilac blouse.

Tiffany says I'M NOT SURE IF ALL
ARTISTS ARE EXPECTED TO DELVE
INTO HISTORY.
I'M SO INTERESTED IN HISTORY AND
POLITICS, AND I'M INTERESTED IN
THE KIND OF IMPOSED POLITICAL
BORDERS AND THE IMPACT OF THAT
ON CERTAIN GROUPS OF THE
POPULATION, AND I'M REALLY
INTERESTED IN INVESTIGATING INTO
CERTAIN HISTORIES THAT ARE
TOTALLY ERASED INTO OBLIVION.

The Narrator says TIFFANY'S EXPERIENCE AS A
VIETNAMESE REFUGEE HAS SHAPED
THE THEME THAT RUNS THROUGHOUT
HER WORK-- THE STORIES OF
THE FORGOTTEN.
SHE'S A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
THAT EXPLICITLY DEALS WITH
CURRENT POLITICAL ISSUES, BUT
ALWAYS IN A SUBTLE AND INDIRECT
WAY.

The caption changes to "Russell Storer. Deputy Director. Curatorial Collections Development. National Gallery Singapore." Russel is in his late forties, with a short beard and bald. He wears a beige shirt.

Russel says THE WAY SHE DRAWS ON HER OWN
HISTORY IS REALLY ABOUT A SENSE
OF EMPATHY WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S
EXPERIENCE, AND IT'S NOT ABOUT
REPRESENTING HER OWN STORY.
IT'S ABOUT TRYING TO LINK TO,
YOU KNOW, MILLION OF PEOPLE'S
STORIES.

The Narrator says TIFFANY'S FAMILY IMMIGRATED
TO THE US AFTER THE VIETNAM WAR
AND SHE DID A MASTERS OF FINE
ARTS IN THE UNIVERSITY OF
CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBRA.
SHE MOVED TO JAPAN BEFORE
COMING BACK TO HO CHI MINH
CITY, VIETNAM IN 2007.
IT WAS DURING HER STAY IN JAPAN
THAT TIFFANY FOUND THE STIMULUS
FOR A SIGNATURE FILM PROJECT
INSPIRED BY THE HISTORIC EVENTS
IN 1918, WHEN MASS UPRISINGS,
KNOWN AS THE KOME SODO-- OR
RICE RIOTS-- SPREAD THROUGHOUT
JAPAN.
THE STRUGGLE TO FIGHT FOR THEIR
RIGHTS WAS SOMETHING THAT
RESONATED WITH TIFFANY.

A series of pictures show Tiffany working in various artistic and filming projects.

The caption changes to "Recipes of Necessity, 2014."

A clip shows people having lunch and speaking Vietnamese.

Tiffany says POST WAR VIETNAM HAS
GONE THROUGH A SIMILAR PERIOD OF
RICE SHORTAGES-- OR SHOULD I SAY
EVERYTHING WAS SHORTAGE.
WE DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH RICE.
WE DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH ANYTHING.
SO, BASICALLY, READING ABOUT
KOME SODO JUST KIND OF BROUGHT
BACK, YOU KNOW, THE MEMORIES OF
THAT PERIOD IN VIETNAM.

The Narrator says IN HER FILM
WELL-SIDE
GATHERINGS,
SHE INTERWEAVES THE
TWO HISTORIES-- THE VIETNAM
RICE SHORTAGES AND THE KOME
SODO RIOTS IN JAPAN-- INTO ONE
MESMERIZING PERFORMANCE.

The caption changes to "Well-side gatherings: rice stories, the rioters, the speakers and the voyeurs. 2011."

One female dancer and three male dancers struggle to queue taking a bag from one to another.

Tiffany says I DECIDED TO WORK
WITH DANCERS BECAUSE I JUST DID
NOT KNOW HOW ELSE I COULD KIND
OF RECAPTURE THIS KIND OF
STRUGGLE AND ALSO THE SPIRIT,
KIND OF LIVING THROUGH THIS
PERIOD AGAIN.

Russell says SHE'S ALWAYS TRYING TO
CONNECT THE DOTS, I MEAN,
AROUND THE WORLD BECAUSE, I
MEAN, EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.

The Narrator says THIS FILM WAS LATER DEVELOPED
INTO A THEATRE PERFORMANCE IN
VIETNAM TITLED
CHRONICLES OF A
SOUNDLESS DREAM.

Tiffany says I COULD FEEL THE
TENSION IN THE AUDIENCE.
I'VE USED THIS MOST ICONIC
OBJECT DURING THE SUBSIDY PERIOD
IN VIETNAM, WHICH WAS A BRICK.
THE DANCERS WERE STRUGGLING WITH
AND WERE FIGHTING EACH OTHER
USING THE BRICKS TO MARK THEIR
SPOT IN LINE AND DOING ALL THESE
MOVES THAT, FOR THE VIETNAMESE
PEOPLE THAT HAVE LIVED THROUGH
THIS PERIOD, THEY KNEW EXACTLY
WHAT I WAS REFERRING TO.

The Narrator says THE WIDESPREAD POVERTY AND
HUNGER LED TO A CHANGING
POLITICAL CLIMATE IN VIETNAM.
TIFFANY'S FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION
IN NEW YORK CITY EXPLORES THIS
GRADUAL SHIFT FROM A COMMUNIST
ECONOMY TO A MORE OPEN MARKET.

(piano music plays)

The caption changes to "Play, 2008."

Pictures show young people wearing colourful overalls and holding a horn speaker and different objects.

In his forties and with blond hair, Erik says IN VIETNAM, THERE ARE SERIOUS
RESTRICTIONS ON ARTISTIC
EXPRESSION AND ESPECIALLY WHEN
IT TOUCHES ON POLITICAL THEME.
THE ADVANTAGE TO SOME OF
TIFFANY'S WORK, I THINK, IS THAT
IT HAS THIS PLAYFUL ASPECT AND
THIS PLAYFUL ELEMENT.

Russell says SHE WAS COLLAPSING THAT
HISTORY OF SOCIALIST REALISM
AND COMMUNISM IN VIETNAM WITH
THIS VERY CONSUMERIST, KIND OF
AMERICANISED PRESENT.

The caption changes to "Quynh Pham."

Quynh says THAT BODY OF WORK IS VERY
MUCH ROOTED IN KIND OF THE
INFLUENCE THAT SHE HAD WHEN SHE
DID SOME RESEARCH IN JAPAN WITH
JAPANESE POP CULTURE, THEN
COMING BACK TO VIETNAM AND
ENGAGING WITH THE YOUTH HERE.

Erik says YOU HAVE ALL THESE KIND
OF FLUFFY OBJECTS, AND TO ME,
THOSE THINGS ARE JUST HILARIOUS,
LIKE, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE IT
TAKES, LIKE, KIND OF A SUPER
SERIOUS ATTEMPT AND JUST, LIKE,
POKES FUN AT IT.

The Narrator says THE VIETNAMESE BORN, US
EDUCATED TIFFANY CHUNG IS
MAKING SWIFT HEADWAY ON THE
INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE.
HER SUBTLE, REBELLIOUS STREAK
AND WIDE RANGE OF SELF
EXPRESSION IS WHAT MAKES HER
ART SO UNIQUE.
AS ONE OF THE LEADING ARTISTS
OF HER GENERATION, TIFFANY IS
DEEPLY AFFECTED BY THE
BREAKNECK TRANSFORMATION OF
URBAN LANDSCAPES ACROSS THE
WORLD.
SIMILAR TO HER WORK "PLAY,"
THESE THREE-DIMENSIONAL
SCULPTURES USE THE SAME
COLOURFUL AND PLAYFUL
TECHNIQUES.

(pop music plays)

The caption changes to "D City: where sidewalk cafes meet the stars, 2010."

An installation shows a colourful city with tall buildings.

Tiffany says I WAS LOOKING AT
POST-WAR DEVELOPMENT IN JAPAN.
WITH THE CULTURE OF CUTENESS,
EVERYTHING IS SO COLOURFUL,
EVERYTHING IS HELLO KITTY.
AND THINK ABOUT THE
TRANSFORMATION BETWEEN A VERY
TRADITIONAL SOCIETY TO A MODERN
SOCIETY AND TRY TO LINK THAT TO
WHAT'S GOING ON IN VIETNAM.
SIDEWALK CAFES, IT'S LIKE A
UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC OF
VIETNAMESE STREET CULTURE.
AND NOW, YOU KNOW, IN THE NAME
OF PROGRESS, WE ARE MARCHING
TOWARDS THE FUTURE.
WE'RE REACHING THE STARS.
SO, THAT'S WHERE THE NAME CAME
FROM.

The Narrator says BUT IN HER LATER FILM WORK,
TIFFANY'S INVESTIGATION ON
URBAN TRANSFORMATION BECOMES
MORE DYSTOPIAN, AS SHE
EXPLORES THE COLLAPSE OF MODERN
SOCIETY AND THE END OF THE
HUMAN RACE.

A young man screams in a windy and isolated landscape.

The caption changes to "When the sun comes out of the night vanishes, 2014."

She continues HER CINEMATIC ESSAY EXPLORES
THE AGING POPULATION AND THE
DECLINE OF INDUSTRIAL TOWNS IN
YAMAGUCHI, NOW RENDERED
OBSOLETE IN JAPAN'S POST
INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY.
HER WORK COMBINES FICTION AND
DOCUMENTARY, BLENDS INTERVIEWS
AND ACADEMIC STUDIES, AND TOOK
ONE AND A HALF YEARS TO
RESEARCH.

In her studio, Tiffany says I SAW A LOT OF
ABANDONED HOUSES.
IT'S A VERY BIG PHENOMENON IN
JAPAN, WHEN YOU SEE THE DECLINE
OF SMALL VILLAGES, WHERE ALL THE
OLD PEOPLE ARE LEFT AND ALL THE
HOUSES ARE LEFT TO BE ROTTEN.
WE TRAVELLED TO ALL THESE LITTLE
VILLAGES, WALKED FROM HOUSE TO
HOUSE, AND THEN, YOU DON'T EVEN
SEE ANY PEOPLE, TO THE POINT
THAT YOU ALMOST HAVE TO CHECK
THE ELECTRIC METER TO MAKE SURE
IF PEOPLE STILL LIVE THERE OR
THE HOUSES HAVE ALREADY BEEN
ABANDONED.

Russell says TIFFANY'S USE OF FILM IS A
WAY OF INSERTING A SENSE OF TIME
INTO HER WORK.
I MEAN, THEY'RE QUITE STATIC IN
A SENSE, WHEREAS FILM OBVIOUSLY
GIVES HER A SENSE OF MOVEMENT
THAT SHE CAN USE TO REALLY
EXPRESS THAT SENSE OF PEOPLE
MOVING THROUGH SPACE.

The Narrator says TIFFANY REVISITS THE THEME
AGAIN IN 2013 IN HER EXHIBITION
AN ARCHELOGY PROJECT FOR
FUTURE REMEMBRANCE, DISPLAYED
IN HO CHI MINH CITY.
THE EXHIBITION REMEMBERS THU
THIEM-- A SMALL HISTORIC TOWN
WHERE PEOPLE HAD LIVED SINCE
THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY THAT HAS BEEN
CLEARED TO ACCOMMODATE A NEW
DEVELOPMENT PROJECT.

Tiffany says YOU WONDER WHAT REALLY
HAPPENED TO THE PLACE, WHAT
HAPPENED TO THE PEOPLE, WHERE
HAVE THEY GONE, YOU KNOW, ALL
THESE QUESTIONS IN MY HEAD.

Now, Tiffany stands in a construction site.

She says THIS TOWN WAS ESTABLISHED, I
BELIEVE, AT THE SAME TIME
SAIGON WAS FOUNDED IN 1698.
SO, ALONG THIS ROAD, YEARS AGO,
YOU WOULD SEE HOUSES, YOU WOULD
SEE PEOPLE HANGING OUT ON THE
STREET, PEOPLE WOULD BE SITTING
ON THE SIDEWALK, BY THE
RIVERBANK.
I USED TO SEE THEM PLAYING
CARDS, DRINKING COFFEE,
SHOUTING, PLAYING CHESS.

She walks around the area and speaks in Vietnamese with two men sitting on the side of a dirt road.

Then, she says I WENT THERE IN 2010 AND WHAT I
SAW WAS REALLY BIZARRE.
I'VE SEEN PEOPLE LIVING IN THE
RUBBLE.
PEOPLE DEMOLISHED THEIR OWN
HOUSES.
IT WAS REALLY INTENSE.
SO, UM, YEAH, I COULDN'T REALLY
FOLLOW THE PROJECT.
IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH.
SO, I CAME BACK IN 2013, WANTING
TO KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
AND BY THAT TIME, I SAW NO
PEOPLE.

The Narrator says THE PEOPLE WHO ONCE PLAYED
CARDS AND CHESS BY THE RIVER,
WHO'S HOMES WERE REDUCED
TO RUBBLE, STILL REMAIN AT THU
THIEM'S TEMPORARY SHELTER.

In Vietnamese, Tiffany says YOU'VE STAYED
HERE FOR 13 YEARS?

A man says THIRTEEN YEARS, SINCE 2001.

The Narrator says TO PRESERVE THE HISTORIES OF
THU THIEM'S RESIDENTS,
TIFFANY'S IDEA WAS NOT TO WAIT,
BUT TO DO THE EXCAVATION NOW,
AHEAD OF TIME, SO THEIR STORIES
WOULD NOT GET BURIED AND
FORGOTTEN UNDER THE NEW
DEVELOPMENT PLANS.

The caption changes to "Doctor Erik Harms. Associate Professor of Anthropology. Yale University."

Erik says IT'S REALLY QUITE DRAMATIC IF
YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE
DISPLACEMENT AND YOU KNOW THE
DEGREE TO WHICH PEOPLE ARE
ALREADY ERASING THAT HISTORY.
THAT'S WHAT ARCHAEOLOGISTS DO,
RIGHT?
THEY GO OUT AND THEY FIND LOST
CIVILIZATION.

Tiffany says I DECIDED TO GO ACROSS THE
ROAD AND EXCAVATE SOMEBODY
ELSE'S HOME.
I ASKED AN EVICTED RESIDENT THAT
I KNOW TO WORK WITH ME ON THAT,
AND I BROUGHT HIM AND HIS
ASSISTANT BACK INTO THE SITE TO
START DIGGING.

Quynh says SHE'S PROMOTED THIS IDEA OF,
YOU KNOW, RESEARCH, HAVING THIS
ANTHROPOLOGICAL APPROACH, YOU
KNOW, REALLY DIGGING THROUGH
THOSE HISTORIES.

The Narrator says TIFFANY PRESERVES THE THU
THIEM STORY WITH HER
EXCAVATIONS, ALONG WITH A THREE
CHANNEL VIDEO.

In a gallery, Quynh says WHEN THE AUDIENCE CAME TO SEE
THE EXHIBITION, THEY WERE
INCREDIBLY INTRIGUED BY THESE
VERY UNUSUAL OBJECTS IN A
GALLERY SETTING.

The caption changes to "Siuli Tan. Curator. Singapore Art Museum." Siuli is in her thirties, with black shoulder-length hair. She wears a blue and white silk blouse.

Siuli says THAT CONCRETE SLAB IS
FREIGHTED WITH MEMORIES OF
LIVES, OF FEET THAT HAVE
ACTUALLY ONCE WALKED ACROSS
THEM, YOU KNOW, TABLES AND
CHAIRS DRAGGED ACROSS ITS
SURFACE FOR FAMILY DINNERS.
AND THE FACT THAT IT'S PRESENTED
IN A QUITE STERILE ATMOSPHERE
JUST MAKES US REALIZE HOW MUCH
WE ARE LOSING WHEN WE
INDISCRIMINATELY DEVELOP.

The Narrator says "AN ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT FOR
FUTURE REMEMBRANCE" PRESERVES
ANCIENT TRADITIONS BURIED UNDER
MODERNIZATION AND REMEMBERS THE
LIVES OF THE FORGOTTEN.

(electronic music plays)

The Narrator says FOR THE PAST DECADE, TIFFANY
CHUNG HAS CONTINUED TO DEFY
CONVENTION.
SHE'S AN AMBITIOUS ARTIST AND
IS DETERMINED TO RAISE
AWARENESS ABOUT ISSUES LIKE
INJUSTICE, DISPLACEMENT AND
REFUGEES.
TIFFANY'S INTEREST IN THESE
GLOBAL CONCERNS HAS BEEN SHAPED
BY THE STORY OF HER COUNTRY'S
WAR AND HER OWN FATHER'S
EXPERIENCE.
HE WAS A HELICOPTER PILOT FROM
THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE ARMY,
IMPRISONED FOR 14 YEARS DURING
AND AFTER THE WAR.

Two pictures show a young male pilot by a helicopter.

Tiffany says IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO TALK
ABOUT IT.
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE FAMILY
IS EFFECTED BY IT DIRECTLY, YOU
ARE JUST TOO CLOSE TO IT.
SO, I WAITED YEARS AND YEARS IN
ORDER TO BE ABLE TO DISCUSS IT
WITH OBJECTIVITY.

The Narrator says IN 2014, AS PART OF HER WORK
TITLED "FINDING ONE'S SHADOW IN
RUINS AND RUBBLE," TIFFANY
FINALLY TOUCHES UPON THE
SUBJECT OF THE VIETNAM WAR.
THE EXHIBITION INCLUDES TWO
VIDEOS THAT RECREATE HER
FATHER'S TAKE-OFFS AND
LANDINGS.
ONE OF THESE FILMS SHOW HER
DRIVING DOWN QUAN LOC, NOW AN
ABANDONED AIRFIELD.

The clip showing a pathway in the countryside plays again.

The caption changes to "It probably took my dad 10 minutes to fly to Loc Ninh airfield from here, I wonder how long it'd take me to drive there."

Russell says THIS AN UNDERCURRENT, I
GUESS, WITH ALL OF HER WORKS IS
THIS SENSE OF TRYING TO
REPRESENT SOME KIND OF
HISTORICAL TRAUMA.

The Narrator says TO REVISIT THESE MEMORIES AND
HISTORIES, TIFFANY LOOKS AT
MAPS.
SHE INCORPORATES NEW
INFORMATION BASED ON HER
RESEARCH, USING EMBROIDERY AND
BEADWORK ON CANVASES OR OIL AND
INK ON PAPER.

Tiffany says I HAVE MADE SO MANY
MAPS OF DIFFERENT CONFLICTS, OF
DIFFERENT AREAS, DIFFERENT
CITIES, DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IN
THE WORLD, AND I'M VERY
INTERESTED IN COUNTRIES THAT
WERE TRAUMATIZED BY WAR OR
NATURAL DISASTERS.

Russell says SHE'S ABLE TO, BY USING A
MAP, WHICH IS SUPPOSEDLY AN
OBJECTIVE IMAGE, BUT TO INJECT
SOME HUMANITY INTO IT.

The Narrator says TIFFANY ALSO CREATED SOME
MAPS TO TRACE HER FATHER'S
FOOTSTEPS.
SEVEN OF THESE MAPS ARE TITLED
"LAM SON 719" AND ARE PRESENTED
WITHIN A 12-METRE LONG WAR
DIAGRAM DEPICTING THE CRITICAL
EVENTS OF THE WAR.

Tiffany says IN 1971, MY FATHER,
WHO WAS A HELICOPTER PILOT, WAS
SHOT DOWN IN LAOS.
HE PARTICIPATED IN OPERATION LAM
SON 719.
SO, THIS DIAGRAM ALSO INCLUDES,
LIKE, ARCHIVAL PHOTOS AND
DIFFERENT VIDEO FOOTAGE AND ALL
OF WHICH EXPLORE OR INVESTIGATES
THE VIETNAM CONFLICT FOR THE
FIRST TIME, FOR ME PERSONALLY.
AND A BIG PART OF IT IS BEING
UNDERSTOOD THROUGH THE LENS OF
MY FATHER.

A close-up shot shows colourful smalls circles in a map.

The Narrator says THE PRECISION AND ACCURACY OF
THESE MAPS ARE BASED ON
ACADEMIC STUDIES OF THE BATTLE,
THE ORIGINAL LAYOUTS OF THE
OPERATION, AND IN 2003, HER OWN
FIELD VISITS TO RETRACE HER
FATHER'S ROUTE.
ALL THIS INFORMATION IS
COMPLIED INTO STUNNING MAPS.

Siuli says THEY ARE BEAUTIFULLY
PATTERNED WITH ALL THESE DOTS
AND KIND OF CODE, LIKE A LEGEND,
A TOPOGRAPHICAL LEGEND OF THE
MAP.
AND MANY TIMES, THE COLOURS ARE
QUITE BRIGHT AND VIVID AS WELL.
THEY REMIND YOU OF CELLS OR
ORGANISMS.
IT'S A LIVING THING; IT'S ALWAYS
CHANGING AND DEVELOPING.

The Narrator says IN HER EXHIBITION, TIFFANY
PRESENTED THESE MAPS ALONGSIDE
ANOTHER WORK ON THE ONGOING
SYRIAN CONFLICT TO REMIND US
THAT HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF.

Tiffany says THE REASON THAT I WAS SO
OBSESSED WITH THE SYRIAN CRISIS
OR THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS WAS
BECAUSE IT BARES STRIKING
RESEMBLANCE TO THE VIETNAMESE
REFUGEE CRISIS AFTER 1975.

The Narrator says THE 40 MAPS RELATING TO THE
SYRIAN CONFLICT WERE SELECTED
FOR THE MAIN EXHIBITION AT THE
2015 VENICE BIENNALE, TITLED
"ALL THE WORLD'S FUTURES."

The caption changes to "The Syria Project, 2015."

Erik says IT WAS REALLY FASCINATING TO
SEE HOW DARK SUBJECTS WOULD
BORROW FROM THIS EARLIER KIND OF
PLAYFUL, COLOURFUL WORK.
AND YOU CAN SEE THAT THREAD
GOING THROUGH ALL OF THE WORK IN
A WAY.

The Narrator says EVERY MAP CONTAINS A COMPLEX
SYSTEM OF CODING.
IN THIS MAP, THE BIGGER THE
DOT, THE LARGER THE NUMBER OF
REFUGEES.

Tiffany says IT CHARTS THE INCREASING
NUMBER OF THE REFUGEES, OF THE
SYRIAN REFUGEES FROM 2012, 2013,
2014.
ALL THE RED DOTS SHOWS THE
SYRIAN REFUGEES.

She points to a map and says YOU WILL SEE A LIGHTER COLOUR
DOT AND THESE ARE THE NUMBERS OF
PALESTINIAN REFUGEES THAT ARE
STILL IN LEBANON SINCE 1948.

The Narrator says IN 2012, TIFFANY STARTED
COMPILING INFORMATION FOR HER
SYRIAN PROJECT.
EACH DOT ON HER MAPS INVOLVES
IMMENSE AMOUNTS OF RESEARCH,
ANALYSIS AND DATA CRUNCHING
TECHNIQUES.

Tiffany sits at a desk browsing through handouts and number tables.

Tiffany says I STARTED BY
RESEARCHING FOR THE STATISTICAL
DATA.
AND SO, I WOULD GO THROUGH
DIFFERENT LINKS, START TO READ
ALL THE INFORMATION IN THERE AND
TRY TO EXTRACT THE DATA-- THE
NUMBERS, THE FIGURES,
STATISTICS, EVERYTHING.
I HAVE TO CHECK, LIKE, TEN
DIFFERENT SOURCES FOR THE
FIGURES AND TRYING TO SEE WHICH
FIGURE IS MORE REALISTIC.
IF THERE'S MORE SOURCES, USE
THAT NUMBER VERSUS THE OTHER
NUMBER.
YOU KNOW, IT'S A LOT OF WORK
INVOLVED.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR FACTS
RIGHT, SO THAT PEOPLE WILL TAKE
YOU SERIOUSLY.

Russell says SHE'S ABLE TO COMBINE HARD
DATA, HISTORICAL DETAIL, HUMAN
EXPERIENCE AND VISUAL BEAUTY IN
THIS INCREDIBLY KIND OF COMPLEX
BUT VERY ENGAGING WAY.

The Narrator says SHE REMAPS BORDERS THAT HAVE
BEEN CREATED, CHANGED OR ERASED
BASED ON POLITICAL DECISIONS
AND COLLAPSES TIMEFRAMES INTO
THESE BEAUTIFUL MAPS.

A large red and blue map with hundreds of dots appears.

The caption changes to "Straight line carved and shaped the region: the secret deal of the 1916 Sykes and Picot Agreement 2014."

Tiffany says I WANTED TO LOOK
INTO THE COLONIAL PARTITIONING
OF THE MIDDLE EAST WITH
POLITICALLY CONSTRUCTED BORDERS,
JUST TO UNDERSTAND, TO UNPACK
THIS CRISIS.

Russell says THE DRAWING OF
BOUNDARIES A CENTURY AGO HAVE
HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON HOW EVENTS
ARE UNFOLDING TODAY.
SO, IT'S REALLY GIVING A SENSE
THAT HISTORY IS ALWAYS PLAYING
OUT AND NOTHING COMES OUT OF
NOWHERE.
AND THE WAY SHE USES MAPS IS TO
SAY THAT THIS PLACE OR THIS
TERRAIN HAS BEEN CONTESTED FOR
MANY YEARS.
IT'S NOT A FIXED SITE.

The caption changes to "Finding one's shadow in ruins and rubble, 2014."

The Narrator says ANOTHER FEATURE OF THE SYRIAN
PROJECT IS THE SCULPTURAL
COMPONENT, FEATURING A SERIES
OF MAHOGANY WOODEN LIGHT BOXES,
RECORDING THE DESTRUCTION OF
SYRIAN CITIES.

Wooden light boxes sit on the floor showing black and white pictures of bombarded houses.

Tiffany says I COLLECTED ALL THE
PHOTOS OF THE RUINS IN ALEPPO,
IN HOMS, IN DAMASCUS, AND OTHER
PLACES IN SYRIA, AND I ENDED UP
CREATING THESE KIND OF LIGHT
BOXES.
WITH THE WOODEN BOXES, IT'S ALL
HANDCRAFTED, REFERRING TO THE
VICTORIAN KEEPSAKE BOXES.

The Narrator says COMBINING AND OVERLAYING A
SPECTRUM OF MEDIUMS, TIFFANY
CHUNG'S WORK IS FAR FROM
SIMPLE.

A clip shows an old man and a little girl going through an inspection.

In off, a man says THE SEARCH IS A THOROUGH
ONE.
METAL DETECTORS SEEK OUT
CONCEALED GOLD OR WEAPONS.

The Narrator says IN HER MOST RECENT
VIETNAMESE EXODUS PROJECT, SHE
STUDIES THE POST 1975 EXODUS,
THE LARGEST GROUP OF VIETNAMESE
REFUGEES THAT LEFT THE COUNTRY.
THE DEPTH AND SCOPE OF HER WORK
SURPRISES US ONCE AGAIN.

Tiffany says LAYERS AND LAYERS
AND SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS.
LIKE, ONE PROJECT COVERS POLICY
MAKING, COVER, LIKE, LIVING
CONDITIONS IN ASYLUM CAMPS AND
THEN COVERED THE EDUCATIONAL
ASPECT OF TRYING TO GET THE
YOUNG ARTISTS HERE TO ACCESS TO
THAT HISTORY.
THEY'RE REALLY GOOD.
THEY'VE GOT ZERO HISTORY
KNOWLEDGE, BUT THEY'VE GOT THE
SKILLS.
SO, HOW DO YOU GET THEM TO LEARN
THE HISTORY?
YOU JUST GIVE THEM PHOTOS AND
SAY, "RENDER THIS INTO PAINTING
FOR ME."

The caption changes to "Paintings by Vietnam's young artists commissioned for flatsam and jetsam, 2014-2015."

The Narrator says THE UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN
INSPIRES AND MENTORS VIETNAM'S
YOUNG ARTISTS.
AND IN DENMARK, SHE TEACHES
REFUGEE CHILDREN HER
TECHNIQUES OF ART.
HER LIFE AND HER ART ARE ABOUT
CREATING CHANGE.

Tiffany teaches a group of young people.

Tiffany says THERE'S CERTAIN
LIMITATION IN ART.
YOU CAN ONLY TAKE IT SO FAR.
I REALLY WANT TO PUSH IT BEYOND
WHAT PEOPLE THINK ART IS AND
REALLY TAP INTO THE
INTERNATIONAL POLICY MAKING.
I JUST WANT TO USE MY WORK AND
MY RESEARCH TO HOPEFULLY DEMAND
SOME CHANGES.

Russell says SHE'S AN ARTIST WITH
A VERY EXPANSIVE VISION, AN
ARTIST WHO CAN REALLY WORK
EFFECTIVELY IN SO MANY MEDIA
AND IS ABLE TO GRAPPLE WITH
ENORMOUS SUBJECTS IN A VERY
INTELLIGENT, VERY NUANCED AND
VERY SUBTLE, I GUESS, WAY.

Quynh says SHE IS DEFINITELY
EFFECTING A NEW GENERATION OF
VIETNAMESE ARTISTS, OF JUST THE
VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY.
I MEAN, THEY'RE SEEING THAT ART
CAN REALLY-- IT CAN BE MORE THAN
JUST BEAUTIFUL.

Tiffany says MY WORK, IN A WAY,
IS A QUIET PROTEST.
IT'S A PROTEST AGAINST THE
POLITICS OF MEMORY, THE POLITICS
OF REMEMBERING AND FORGETTING,
IT'S A PROTEST AGAINST THIS
POLITICALLY DRIVEN HISTORICAL
AMNESIA.
AND IN ORDER TO DO THAT-- YOU
KNOW, IT GIVES MORE OF AN IMPACT
IF YOU DO IT FROM WITHIN, IF
THAT VOICE COMES FROM WITHIN.

The clip showing a pathway in the countryside plays again.

The caption changes to "We'd better get off the runaway before the military people kick us out."

The end credits roll.

Narrated by Verity Sharp.

Produced and directed by Karishma Chanrai.

Executive Producer, Sian Kevill.

Copyright 2016, Bloomberg LP.

Watch: The Socially Conscious Cartography of Tiffany Chung