120 x 150 cm
Black ink on museum cotton board
On display at The British Ambassador’s Residence Beijing
The artist was based in Tongzhou District, in the east of the city. His monogram 'GJF' marks studio where the artwork was drawn. Research began by circumnavigating the megacity by foot, he then walked around each ring road to the heart of the metropolis, totaling over 1,350km.
This detail from Fuller’s map shows the area around the Forbidden City, the ancient Chinese palace complex in central Beijing. The design at the very center combines a star like Western compass rose inside the squarish shape of a traditional Chinese compass.
Ancient and modern worlds intersect in this detail from the map. An ancient Buddhist symbol, the endless knot (top center), and circles containing the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac surround a fictitious temple to the cell phone (the pagoda-like structure capped by the universal Wi-Fi symbol).
Electric vehicles are already taking off in China. In this detail, a futuristic factory run by robots recycles traditional cars into electric ones.
In this detail, the artist imagines a future where a nuclear power plant powered by the chemical element thorium, rather than the uranium or plutonium used today, generates clean power for the city. The symbol for thorium (Th) appears throughout the map.
This detail includes several nods to Chinese innovation, including the country’s space program (the satellite and celestial objects at top left). Nearby, drones take off with packages of vegetables grown on tiered platforms, as part of a futuristic—and not yet realized—urban agriculture operation.
This detail from the map includes the headquarters of Chinese Central Television, a building many locals think resembles a pair of trousers, and just to the right a new skyscraper currently under construction that resembles a traditional Chinese wine chalice (thus the wine bottles at its base).