Map of the World – Aiko Furuta
When I was kid I would rather spend time reading atlases than any other kind of book. I used to lie in bed and study maps of all the places I had never heard of, trying out strange pronunciations and exotic tasting names of cities and deserts all over the world. For example, the was nothing more exotic than the place names of the North African deserts (check it out for yourself some time). Likewise, there was a reassuring style to the names of the great inner Asian countries, every region and every country ending with -stan. North American place names likewise intrigued me, most of the cities of northern USA has very familiar European sounding names (there must be a dozen London in New England alone!) but when it comes to the names of lakes and rivers all of a sudden they take on older aboriginal names, totally alien to any European language. I could understand why early settlers would name their villages after their hometowns or biblical places, but why would they keep the Indian names for lakes and rivers? Of course I have studied more maps and more cartography since then but I sill love looking at maps. So when I found this art work by Aiko Furuta (古田藍子) I was intrigued! She has taken a basic Japanese map of the world and cut out all the names from it, painstakingly reassembling every single character in their correct order on a separate piece of paper. The title of the work is in Japanese Re (世界地図の場合). I’m not even going to attempt a translation of that! She is graduating from Joshibi University of Art and Design (女子美術大学) this month.