MAP Office 古儒郎 & 林海華

— Under The Umbrella & PRD Report
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MAP Office 古儒郎 & 林海華

MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez (1966, Casablanca, Morocco) and Valérie Portefaix (1969, Saint-Étienne, France). This duo of artists/architects has been based in Hong Kong since 1996, working on physical and imaginary territories using varied means of expression including drawing, photography, video, installations, performance, and literary and theoretical texts. Their entire project forms a critique of spatio-temporal anomalies and documents how human beings subvert and appropriate space.

Under The Umbrella
(2014, 10m10s, 4K – Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Stereo, Color)

The production of the video grew organically with the production of the protest. Started in Hong Kong September 28th, the Umbrella Revolution has appropriated a large part of the business district in Admiralty, cutting the new government headquarter from the other parts of the city. Days and nights, protesters have been building a temporal city and consolidate the barricades. Beyond the claim for a democratic election of the chief executive, protesters have been fighting against the latent destruction of the social and physical fabric of the territory. In that sense, we are examining the making of the Umbrella Revolution as collective response to project possible future.

PRD Report
(2003, 10m17s, DV – 720 x 576 – Stereo, Color ) 

The Southern China metropolis is certainly one of the most representative urban faces of the twenty-first century. The expression of a new spatial condition in the Pearl River Delta region (PRD) is clearly related to the notion of development (economic and industrial) and embedded in specific cycles of production, distribution and consumption. These dynamic and multi-dimensional forces are explored in PRD report, presented in 2003 at the First Rotterdam Architecture Biennale, as a research and installation focused on the Superhighway connecting Guangzhou to Shenzhen.

Driving at 120 kilometers per hour, I am crossing the Pearl River Delta at full speed. My driver’s hand is constantly smashing the horn to avoid a car crash or heavy traffic congestion. As usual, the concrete platform is full of vehicles, with trucks in every lane ignoring the police and signage recommendations. Somehow, I prefer to concentrate on the advertisements along the road, and try to relax. I will be happy to reach the petrol station for a rest. After breaking many security rules, we finally exit and pay a young girl at the toll gate. I am safe…