Qiu ZhijieChina b.1969 / Map of Technological Ethics 2018  / Synthetic polymer mural / 1800 x 3600cm / Commissioned for APT9 / © The artist / Photograph: Chloë Callistemon

Qiu Zhijie
Map of Technological Ethics 2018

Not Currently on Display

Qiu’s work in APT9 is a vast map that he has painted directly onto the Gallery wall. He draws on different fields in this painting — cartography (map making), geography, history, philosophy, mythology and science. His maps are a guide to seeing the whole picture to understand the world in which we live.

The artist’s maps are about a period of time, rather than a particular place. From a distance, Qiu’s wall paintings might look like ordinary maps, but his depictions of land masses, mountains, rivers and islands show the relationships between historical events; for example, reasons and results are connected by rivers, while major events are represented as peaks and mountains.

Qiu Zhijie has developed an approach to art that he calls ‘total art’ — a combination of knowledge, culture and daily life. His artworks connect ideas in Chinese art and literature with ideas from contemporary art, philosophy and society.


Use mind-mapping to show the connections between you and some subjects you have some knowledge of.

Look at a map of Australia and learn how to identify different geographical features. What features are usually given names?

Think about how ideas can link to elements of maps, like roads, tunnels, railways, rivers, mountains, islands and oceans; for example, a mountain could represent a challenge; a tunnel could represent something hidden.

During your visit to APT9

What is the story of Qiu Zhijie’s artwork? How do the geographical features help to tell the story?

How does the artist help us to understand our world?

Step back and try to view the entire artwork. Get closer to study the small details. How does the size of the work make you feel?


  • with Kim Beom’s artworks. How do the artists change the way functional forms — like maps and blueprints — deliver data and information?


Create a map (not a timeline) about relationships involving people or events from a particular period of time; for example, a map of your life since birth or an important event for your family or school.

Contemporary context

How does Qiu Zhijie:

  • challenge ideas of the past?
  • use materials, technologies or approaches to affect the audience experience?
  • employ imagery and/or display techniques to challenge aesthetic traditions?
  • provoke discussion about twenty-first-century issues and concerns?

Personal context

How does Qiu Zhijie:

  • generate ideas from his own experiences, imagination or memories?
  • connect with the viewers’ experiences and/or expectations to construct meaning?

Cultural context

How does Qiu Zhijie:

  • explore cultural traditions?
  • reflect community interests through social commentary?
  • respond to cultural influences?

Formal context

How does Qiu Zhijie:

  • employ specific art elements and principles to communicate meaning?
  • communicate intentions using symbols, motifs or signs?
  • enhance the interpretation of the artwork through processes, materials and media?
  • share characteristics with art movements, times, places or events?

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