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Under this year's theme of "Creative Ensemble," Art Focus is pleased to host a panel discussion with the members of DrawingShanghai, which is an open and informal drawing society composed of international and Chinese working professionals of diverse ages and backgrounds. The group meets every Saturday morning from 10 am to about 12 pm to sketch, draw and paint various environs of Shanghai out of doors as well as indoors. At noon, the group gathers together to share tips and encouragement in a collaborative spirit to foster a community of like-minded people who prefer to create art with their own hands. Come find out more about this unique Drawing Society and be invited to take part in the discussion as well as future drawing sessions that is always free and open to the public with no drawing prerequisites required.

About the speakers:


I chose architecture as my major in the university because I love drawing, but I gave up architecture after 6 years of work because I love drawing and I wanted to spend more time on it. So, I found a job that relates to both art and urban space (UAP company), where I can have more spare time for my drawings. I have been self-learning drawing techniques sine 2016, mainly from online tutorials and watching others when we sketch together. I receive most of my inspirations from daily life that are familiar to me, and I often get unexpected results from encountering new places, and that's why DrawingShanghai sketching outings motivate my Saturday mornings.


I'm Arlyna. I have been an artist and designer for as long as I can remember. My love for art stuck with me and I went out of my way to study Chinese painting and calligraphy with Fan Zeng in Tianjin when China was just starting to open its doors to the outside world. Years later, coming back to China, it all of a sudden felt like a second home. Returning to the country that my grandparents left a generation ago was something I did not think would be my path. Joining DrawingShanghai years ago has given me a new avenue to document life in Shanghai via urban sketching, an opportunity to look at Shanghai with renewed eyes. These outings have also allowed me to hone my watercolour skills and to belong to a community of like-minded people.

Tõnis Kimmel

I'm an architect from the faraway North European country of Estonia and I have been working in Shanghai since 2010. There has hardly been anything in my life that inspires me more than the way people have shaped our environment, especially our buildings. I initially joined DrawingShanghai to practice my shabby drawing skills, but with this group I started to stumble upon a different kind of Shanghainese beauty, especially that of our historic Chinese downtown. From this exploration grew the subseries of DrawingShanghai that we call Vanishing Shanghai. To document these explorations, I started a specialized blog on

Convener: Julie Chun, Art Historian and Art Critic

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