Drawing our heritage
‘OUR DRAWINGS ARE A record of time and place’ is one of Urban Sketchers’ manifestos.
Urban Sketchers is a non-profit organisation committed to support and represent a grassroots global community of sketchers.
They are aimed to show the world one drawing at a time holding on to their mission to raise the artistic, storytelling and educational value of location drawing, promoting its practice and connecting people around the world who draw on location where they live and travel.
The local chapter of Urban Sketchers was established on Sept 18, 2012 with the help of Urban Sketchers Don Low from Singapore and founder Gabriel Campanario.
Recently Urban Sketchers Kuching (Usk Kch) collaborated with Sarawak Heritage Society (SHS) to hold its first Exhibition of Sketches of Heritage Buildings from Nov 24 to 29.
Fittingly held at the Old Court House, one of the oldest buildings in Kuching, the exhibition was a follow-up to the preview organised in June at The Ranee.
Showing Kuching’s record of times and place, the exhibition was to display unique sketches and paintings reflecting our common heritage of historical buildings.
One of those heritage buildings immortalised in sketches is the Segu Bungalow.
Originally built at Kampung Segu which is also known as Kampung Benuk about 30km at Puncak Borneo, the bungalow was erected by the third white Rajah, Vyner Brooke.
Vyner had intended Segu Bungalow to be his summer house in 1924 but he hardly had time to visit it.
He then had it dismantled and brought piece by piece to be rebuilt at its current location on the hill top at Park Lane in 1937.
The bungalow is one of the buildings listed as Sarawak cultural heritage under Sarawak Culture Heritage Ordinance 1993.
The exhibition not only featured sketches of heritage buildings in Kuching;
Peggy Wong captured in sketches Sibu’s iconic building the seven-storey pagoda Tua Pek Kong Temple which dates back to 1870.
Trained as an architect, Wong also sketched and exhibited other iconic sites such as Annah Rais Longhouse and Siniawan Old Town.
A multimedia designer who turned to sketching as she found it therapeutic, Aurelia Liu also presented several of her works in the exhibition.
One that stood out is Liu’s sketch of Padungan Street which has a history dating back to the 1920s.
About her artwork, Liu briefly described the story of that painting, “On a cloudy evening, the kopitiam was closing for the day. At the back of the kopitiam, a family was cleaning their stalls while I was sketching and sipping on my ‘Teh C Peng’.”
Another Kuching urban sketcher, Gabrielle Lim Mei Joo was no stranger to art exhibitions.
Working as a graphic designer, Lim was also a member of Sarawak Artist Society.
She has actively participated in exhibitions in Sarawak and also in Kuala Lumpur since 2011.
Two of Lim’s paintings feature the view of two iconic and heritage streets of Kuching, Jalan Tabuan and Wayang Street.
The sketch of Wayang Street was of the Chinese shophouses dating back to the 19th century located next to the Hong San Si Temple, Kuching’s finest Chinese temple.
Lim also sketched and painted the view of Jalan Tabuan facing the old shophouses with the modern Medan Pelita and Harbor View could be seen in the background.
The exhibition featured works of other urban sketchers namely Wee Hii Min, Azy Yanti Morni, Yvonne Yeo Suh Chan, Marvin Chew and Helena Goh.
Interested in Urban Sketchers Kuching’s artworks? Check out their blog on http://urbansketchers-kuching.blogspot.com/.