Drawing(s) as key to the development of alternative biographical readings of Nanhai in the Pearl River Delta
Keywords:Pearl River Delta, Landscape Biography, Ancestral Landscape, Cosmological Landscape, Operative Research
This article focuses on two methods employed in the selection, interpretation, and representation of diverse source materials for developing alternative biographies for my ancestral landscape - Nanhai district in the Pearl River Delta in southern China. These biographies aim to approach Nanhai from a long view of continual transformation, as opposed to prevalent readings of the region that focus on the striking spatial contrasts and large-scale developments that have only come about in recent decades.
The chronological reading explores a critical shift in the cosmological understanding of the landscape situated in the 19th century through a selection of historical gazetteer maps, while in the excavational reading the diffuse continuity of the lineage in the present-day landscape of Nanhai is traced. In both methods, the drawing functions as a crucial (research) tool to engage the range of source materials.