Tiffany Chung’s work examines conflict, migration, urban progress and transformation in relation to history and cultural memory. It explores the geographical shifts in countries that were traumatized by war, human destruction or natural disaster. Whether Chung’s studies of the growth, decline or disappearance of towns and cities focus on urban development, environmental catastrophe or humanitarian crisis, her ethnographic research and interviews often play into her re-narrations of historical sites.
Chung’s map drawings layer different periods in history of devastated topographies, reflecting the impossibility of accurately creating cartographic representations of most places. Transgressing space and time, these works unveil the connection between imperialist ideology and vision of modernity. Her maps interweave historical and geologic events, spatial and sociopolitical changes with future predictions, revealing cartography as a discipline that draws on the realms of perception and fantasy as much as geography. Often incorporating international treaties with local histories, Chung’s work remaps memories that were denied in official records. Her mixed-media installations excavate layers of history, re-write chronicles of places, and create interventions into the spatial narratives produced through statecraft.