Agnes Fong Lucero. Designer, illustrator and poet. Graduated from The Higher Institute of Design in 1990. Since 2012 lives in Spain. Her illustrations and artistic drawings have been exhibited in Almería, Madrid and Valencia.
1. How was Ciudades dibujadas born?
Ciudades dibujadas was born in Havana. The first draws of a known, close urban environment came out the neighborhood, with all the elements that make up our image of the city. You see them every day, you walk by, and when you sit down and “think” of a city the first to appear is this, the immediate. I was always interested in architecture, I think that the concern of vision at a scale beyond the object should have come out somehow in each draw.
Then you change your geographical environment and one of the first things you should do is to interpret this environment, to decode it, to translate it, see how it works, what laws and regulations govern this new place because you get there with your own history and you have to adapt yourself to that new place. The tool I had at hand for this step was drawing. I started to sketch houses, streets, spots, urban structures, all new. To draw this environment has been a way to learn about what surrounds me, a way to translate the new sites, to draw my own map. That was how the concept of Ciudades dibujadas was born, a concept where my vision of those places could fit. Cities in paper, re-interpreted.
Then I draw Havana again, but this time with more specific elements. Recognizable within the urban landscape. Known places that you filed in your memory that emerge with no difficulty. The Ciudades dibujadas were extended, the Habana dibujada was born. The project keeps on growing. We have continued in Santiago de Cuba and have foreseen other cities too.
2. What makes this project so peculiar?
In the series of Ciudades dibujadas in Spain, for example the main concern is the vision of a different environment, architecture and landscapes you discover. A non native person trying to assimilate new urban codes.
In Ciudades dibujadas in Cuba the drawings come from a known vision, but interpreted from the distance with a very strong affective factor. Places you know by heart, that you can draw with your eyes closed. I worked many years at Centro Histórico de la Habana Vieja, I lived in Centro Habana, and I have walked the streets of La Habana. So any element as trivial as a sewer, the fence of a park, half opened windows, chipped walls, are details that appear in the drawings.
3. What is the importance of using colors in the illustrations of these cities?
The use of colors in the illustrations came later. The first ones were pencil drawings, graphite, black lines on white paper. Then I started to use Indian ink. I only used red and black. Line drawings in black and only small details such as roofs, walls in red.
But in the case of Havana it is obvious that to forget the color is to forget a very strong element in the landscape not only because of the color precisely but also because of the natural light. So it was obvious that color should be there in those cities.
4. How do you visualize the future of this project?
The future of this project: from the point of view of drawing, as wide as the many cities you like to draw, the cities can be as many as the individual wants. We are working now in new Ciudades imposibles.
From the point of you of its applications, everything the materials available allow us to do. We have started with post cards and reproductions in paper and canvas in big format so far. But the project to do it in different stand is wide and interesting.