Allow artists to sketch buildings, says Urban Sketchers Ipoh leader

Sylvia Looi
Urban Sketchers Ipoh leader Chin Kok Yan said property owners should give leeway to artists to sketch their buildings in Ipoh August 15, 2018. — Picture by Marcus Pheong

IPOH, Aug 15 — Property owners should allow artists to sketch their buildings, Urban Sketchers Ipoh leader Chin Kok Yan said today.

Chin was commenting on the case of KLsketchnation artist Ahmad Haryth Ahmad Hilmy, who was prevented from sketching shopping malls in Bukit Bintang recently.

Chin said the drawings would have indirectly helped to promote the particular building.

“Unless the drawings are for commercial purposes, building owners should not stop artists from drawing their buildings.

“By stopping an artist from drawing, it would stifle the artist’s growth.

“Drawing is different from capturing an image using a camera. By drawing, an artist can embody their feelings inside where a picture only captures a particular moment,” he said.

Citing the heritage buildings at the Panglima Lane or more popularly known as Concubine Lane here as an example, Chin said it had changed much since the days he drew the row of buildings.

“Now it is so colourful that I can’t even recognise it,” he added.


Sketching enthusiasts from KLsketchnation were prohibited from drawing some of KL's iconic landmarks. — Instagram/KLsketchnation

Chin said Ahmad Haryth’s case was not the first one.

“A similar incident happened in Penang years ago.

“A group of artists wanted to sketch a heritage building but was stopped by its owners.

“After the owners were criticised on social media, they finally relented and allowed the artists to return,” he added.

On Monday, Haryth and his KLsketchnation team planned to draw the exterior of the Lot 10 shopping complex in Bukit Bintang, but were stopped by security personnel.

The building security guard and manager claimed this would infringe on the building’s intellectual property.

Haryth, who shared his grouses on social media, said he had travelled and sketched in many parts of the world.

“But only in Malaysia, it makes me feel like a criminal,” he said.