Monday, October 12, 2009

The 1st Malaysian International Drawing Marathon 2009

(At Suhaimi's house before we left for Penang)
(My drawing) (Suhaimi's drawing)

(Tengku Sabri's drawing)

(Tengku Sabri preparing to draw)

(Professor Fauzan Umar standing in as model)

(One of the participants of the marathon)

(Deep in discussion)

(Suhaimi and Lennon)

(The Cathay Hotel on Leith Street)

(Plumber on the move)

I am proud to say that I took part in the 1st Malaysian International Drawing Marathon 2009, the inaugural programme hosted by the School of Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang from 5 to 7 October 2009.

It was partly a male-bonding session with my friends and I who drove up together in my trusted station wagon. There was me, Lennon, Tengku Sabri and Mie Pak Lah, all excited, partly because of the drawing marathon, to meet my lecturers and artist friends, my art collector, and also because we wanted to make it a "food marathon," too!

It was literally a drawing marathon where some 20-plus artists stayed up the entire duration for 72 hours to draw. Drawing is one of the first things they teach you in art school, and it forms the foundation of your artistic strength in later years. It is so basic that many art students today disregard its importance.

For me, the drawing marathon was a welcome break from my paintings. Besides the invigorating exercises that pushed me to explore my drawing skills, it also rejuvenated my spirit in making art.

Being at the University, meeting Professor Fauzan Umar who first taught me drawing at ITM all those years ago, being in the company of other artists furiously sketching away -- these all combined to create an atmosphere filled with creative energy. Being there was truly an inspiring experience and sparked my ideas and motivation to create and explore the possibilities in my work.

It was a shame that the outdoors of Penang was not utilised much. Instead, the drawing sessions were held indoors (with the exception of the first day when we had a scheduled outdoor sketching session), with settings that immediately brought back memories of art classes from my college days!

I look forward to a yearly installment of this marathon, and hope that next time the organiser will encourage participants to freely explore Penang. After all, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and every street, every corner that you turn, you can feel the vibration and the energy from years of accumulated history, heritage and trade. Now that would make for some interesting output!

And as a little something new (because I always believe in lifelong learning and progress), I compiled the photos above in a little video. Enjoy it!

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