JB architectural sketches show

Three students in the Bachelor of Interior Design course at Raffles University Iskandar worked together to successfully curate the first Johor Architectural Sketches Exhibition that feature two artists from distinct and different backgrounds Buz Walker-Teach and Yap Hanzhen.

Students [Right to Left] Tyler Lim, Ho Gay Lin and Claryl
Chan with Tan Sri Datuk Seri Shahrir Abd Samad and
the two artists, Buz Walker-Teach [Left] and Yap Hanzhen
Students, Ho Gay Lin, 21, Claryl Chan and Tyler Lim, both 23, rose to the challenge when Senior Lecturer Priya Metcalfe proposed that instead of studying the Exhibition Design module in the classroom, the students should put theory into practice and organise an exhibition in the city.

“The two artists were brought together in the exhibition because they share the same passion for architecture and culture in Johor,” said Chan, who was the driving force behind the team who planned and executed the organisation among themselves with the advice of Metcalfe.

All the hard work in the last three months paid off handsomely for the students when the exhibition was launched by Johor Baru Member of Parliament, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Shahrir Abd Samad, in the presence of Raffles University Iskandar President, Professor Graeme Britton, fellow university students and invited guests.

JB MP, Tan Sri Datuk Seri Shahrir Abd Samad [2nd from
Right] escorted by Raffles University Iskandar President,
Prof Graeme Britton [Right] at the exhibition held in Eh He
Among the guests were Singapore Consul-General and Ian Mak, Director (Museum & Art Gallery) Southern University College, Tan Chai Puan, who joined a throng of guests to admire the architectural sketches displayed in Eh He, a gallery in the heart of the city’s heritage area.

“Through drawing, I found an outlet to adapt to living in JB,” said Walker-Teach, an American visual artist, sketcher, illustrator and graphic designer who is also an art lecturer with Raffles University Iskandar, in response to the “culture shock” he experienced when he first arrived here three years ago.

He has completed more than 140 drawings of various sites in and around JB in the last three years but sadly, some 35 of these buildings have been demolished or undergone dramatic changes and adapted for other use.

The two talented and distinctly different artists,
Yap Hanzhen [Left] and Buz Walker-Teach
He likened the pairing of himself and Yap as the “The Past and Future of Art” with Yap, who at 16, was just starting his career as an artist.

In a short time, Yap, a gifted young artist from JB has achieved a great deal including publishing three books of his sketches that were drawn in exquisite detail, being exhibited not just locally but also abroad as well as receiving commissioned work.

"I'm happy that both these artists are exhibiting their architectural sketches aptly in a JB heritage site and hope that it will help us appreciate what we have in our building heritage,” said Shahrir as he congratulated the student organisers before launching the exhibition.

An exhibition of sketches of Johor Baru is held from now till Aug 28 at Eh He, No. 1 Jalan Trus, 80000 Johor Baru.  Daily from 10am to 6pm and up to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday.

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 23 Aug 2015

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