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Recording History With On-Location Sketches
 By Peggy Wong

URBAN SKETCHERS KUCHING (USk), founded by 3 architects back in 2010, is one of 280 Urban Sketchers chapters of sketchers worldwide.  They were formed to record the disappearing markets that lined the Kuching old waterfront. USk Kuching members create on-location sketches as a reportage to tell stories of Kuching’s buildings, people and events. Today, the eclectic mix of USk Kuching members come from all walks of life, but they all share the same passion as all the urban sketchers around the world, to show the world we live in, one drawing at a time.Other than our regular monthly sketch outings, we have hosted several notable workshops and exhibitions as part of the awareness and education outreach for our members and anyone interested in sketching.

USk meets every first Sunday of the month at different locations around Kuching, and sometimes at events happening around the city. Their most recent on-location sketch meet was at the 1950 Si Hup Distillery rumoured to be torn down soon.


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Spice shops in front of the Indian Mosque. This stretch of spice shops represent the early Muslim Indian settlement and merchants who had settled here, and saw their textile and spice trade flourished. Built in a distinctive Moorish architecture that is still unique in the context of architecture history in Kuching, these spice shops were perfect complement to the waterfront fish, poultry & vegetable markets that were once lined parallel to them, as a way to bring food to life.

Islamic Heritage MuseumThe Islamic Heritage Museum was initially built as a school, known as the James Brooke Malay College. Later known as Madrasah Melayu Sarawak in 1930, the building was specially used as a college to train more teachers in higher Malay studies. There were mostly mission schools at that time were doing excellent work on English while there was a lack of qualified Malay teachers. One of the sketchers recalled coming here for a teacher’s meeting when it was the Education Department, before it was the Islamic Heritage Museum today.

Peggy Wong is one of the founders of Urban Sketchers Kuching. Although she is a practicing architect who works with precise and methodological linework, she wants to give more heart and soul to her lines through her sketches. She now serves on the international USk Executive Board as Events Director. The fellowship of USk Kuching, and the mission to record stories and scenes of Kuching, is one that is still dear to her heart.

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KUCHING IN & OUT magazine has been birthed out of the desire of Kuching residents to explore and discover more about all the unique places, activities and resources in this region that make Kuching such a special place to live.

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