The vocabulary of my artwork comes from the language of maps. The use of these symbols in art is a bit ironic because they, being descriptive and meaningful only within the context of maps, are crafted out of the same elements as art.
The theoretical basis of my approach is defamiliarization: presenting something as both recognizable and foreign. It is engaged in my work as follows: 1) using map symbols outside the reference of maps, 2) synthesizing historically and culturally disparate symbols, and 3) placing the symbols in formats that have their own system of meaning. The latter of these approaches is often accomplished by referencing the format and character of Chinese landscape paintings. Thus, defamiliarization works in two directions, retreating simultaneously from maps and from landscape paintings.