The Standard: Pencil and Paper

Source: The Standard | Published: 04 Jul 2014

“Chasing Shadows in Sheung Wan” provides a precious opportunity to explore the area and draw the surrounding historical sites.
Led by artists and architects, participants in the walk and draw event are invited to document their direct physical impression of the city with lines, gestures and sketches using pencils and paper, through which they come to terms with the vanishing past.

The tour is organized by Asia Art Archive, Draw Together Hong Kong, and Walk in Hong Kong as part of the Open Saturday program.

“Instead of sitting in the classroom, you can look and feel the historical site directly. It gives a vivid image of the history behind it,” said Marissa Fung-Shaw, founder of Creative Partnership and Draw Together Hong Kong.

Chow Chung-wah, co-author of Lonely Planet guidebooks on Hong Kong, China and Taiwan and a founder of Walk in Hong Kong, agrees with her program partners and finds it weird that people will sketch when they travel but seldom do so in Hong Kong.

“There is a pervasive phenomenon that people capture everything by cell phone. But only drawings can give you a detailed observation of the surrounding environment, which surprisingly unveils deeper layers of the city,” Chow said.

Fung-Shaw added that drawing is indeed the initial art form and may help nurture the sense of art and creation.

“We just want to bring back the curiosity that we all had when we were a child and use it to explore the city in a brand-new perspective,” she said.

The Asia Art Archive, located on the corner of Hollywood Road and Possession Street, which chronicles the official British possession of Hong Kong in the 19th century, is the starting point of the tour.

The historical route also takes in a tong lau, Pak Shing Temple, Blake Garden and Hong Kong Museum of Medical Science.

“Under the skyscrapers that dominate Hong Kong, Sheung Wan has a unique neighborhood where you can still find traces of history,” Chow said.

“If you walk slowly in this place, you can find lots of interesting stuff that you can’t find in textbooks.”

Fung-Shaw added: “The city transformed at rocket speed. But no matter how the city changes, history still remains.”

The Asia Art Archive’s Open Saturday program aims to provide a new perspective to a wide-ranging audience, with art as a means of inquiry and discussion.

The program encourages the participation of those of all ages. “You don’t have to be a master of drawing. All you need is a pencil and white sheet, with an open mind that is receptive to the environment,” Fung-Shaw said.

There will be one Chinese and one English tour with 20 participants in each.

Chow will lead the Chinese tour, and Haider Kikabhoy, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who is co- founder of Walk in Hong Kong, will conduct the English one. The tour will be held this Saturday. Registration is required.

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