For an urban artist, big metropolitan cities like Hong Kong could be compressed into a sketchbook.
That is what Jens Hübner has done every day on his “one day one sketch” project from 2014. Hübner is an artist, author, and traveler from Germany, who is incredibly enthusiastic about urban sketches. Invited by Faber-Castell, the great artist came to Hong Kong and was immediately drawn to this city’s special quality: the soaring skyscrapers, the steep hill staircases, the busy crowd of passers-by, and the shimmering sea view.
Faber-Castell invited Wahayeah Sketch Group (畫下野), a local artist community, and organized an urban sketch workshop in Sheung Wan, in which Jens Hübner shared his artistic thoughts with Hong Kong’s local artists and amateurs depicted the city’s beauty together.
To begin the workshop, Hübner shared his tools and sketchbook with the participants. While exhibiting the sketches, he told his stories with the places that he had drawn around the globe and explained key ideas in doing an urban sketch.
Sitting on the stone staircases, the participants were absorbed in the small lecture that Hübner gave.
Participants were excited to share their ideas about art with Hübner. With the conversations going on, the workshop was filled with an air of joy and passion.
After delightful communications came the long-expected part of this event: to sketch the street view of Sheung Wan with Hübner! Everyone picked a favorite piece of the scenery and presented it with their own creativity in the sketchbook.
Urban sketch of unique construction building technique using bamboo by Jens Hübner
Portait Sketch of Jens Hübner by Wahayeah artist Jeff Lo
Hübner kindly shared feedback about the works that artists did, and led a two-way conversation sharing the process and thoughts about their own sketch works. It’s a valuable chance to revisit the urban view that they had been familiar with.
There was a very touching moment when a man walked by and saw Hübner drawing the construction site. He happened to be the worker who participated in the construction!
The worker added the words in Chinese with his name and Hong Kong, co-creating this local urban sketch piece with German artist Jens.
It would be so meaningful to see one’s own hard work beautifully presented by a great artist.
Local and foreign passengers walked, passed, and stopped by, to see the artworks and interact with the artists!
At the end of the workshop, Hübner showed us his drawing: a building under construction which was surrounded by wooden scaffolds and workers. It is a typically Hong Kong scene that we could witness everyday. Hübner’s picture embodies one of the city’s spirits, an initiative to always make progress.
After the event, the members of Wahayeah Sketch Group reflected that they have learned a lot from Jens Hübner and his work. It was such a pleasure to have interactive cultural communication between a foreign artist and hongkongers.
Photography | Little Stories – the Moment by Amy
Venue | Sai Wan Swimming Shed & Sheung Wan
Text | Rachel