Travels

Discovering Discovery Bay by erwin lian

My first month in Hong Kong:

I am still adjusting to life here and it has been quite an interesting experience thus far.
Restarting something is always more difficult, and I'm giving myself more time to acquire the necessary momentum and rhythm.

Since I don't have proper gears and equipment, I am making do with what I have and can do. 

Yesterday, I visited an old college classmate and experienced Discovery Bay. This place doesn’t feel like Hong Kong and offered some unique quirks.

 I sneaked into the Marina Club but was kicked out after they discovered me. Didn't complete my painting and I have to walk around to find another spot. This spot really wasn't ideal and it was on a slope but I decided to give it a go.

I sneaked into the Marina Club but was kicked out after they discovered me. Didn't complete my painting and I have to walk around to find another spot. This spot really wasn't ideal and it was on a slope but I decided to give it a go.

 No easel. no chair, plenty of mosquitoes and a scorching sun were some of the annoying issues I dealt with for this first plein-air.

No easel. no chair, plenty of mosquitoes and a scorching sun were some of the annoying issues I dealt with for this first plein-air.

 Ta-dar ! I did it. Not exactly my best work but hey I stayed committed till the end. 

Ta-dar ! I did it. Not exactly my best work but hey I stayed committed till the end. 

 Personal cars aren't allowed in Discovery Bay and people have to buy these over-priced golf bungees that costs a few million dollars if they want a  vehicle. 

Personal cars aren't allowed in Discovery Bay and people have to buy these over-priced golf bungees that costs a few million dollars if they want a  vehicle. 

 Way less crowded in Discovery Bay and it felt like I been transported out of Hong Kong. 

Way less crowded in Discovery Bay and it felt like I been transported out of Hong Kong. 

 I walked all over and couldn't find a good spot with shade to paint or sketch. Eventually, I just sat down and drew some people around me.

I walked all over and couldn't find a good spot with shade to paint or sketch. Eventually, I just sat down and drew some people around me.

 couples and their poses

couples and their poses

 Thankful to have great friends from College in Hong Kong. Hung out with Queenie and her family 

Thankful to have great friends from College in Hong Kong. Hung out with Queenie and her family 

 Sophie posed for me and I did a fast sketch of her. 

Sophie posed for me and I did a fast sketch of her. 

My life in Hong Kong has been good thus far. The locals have been a lot friendlier than I have anticipated. Some of my friends have warned me about peculiar judgmental cultures....Since it isn’t something I have control over, I won't be registering anything of them.. just my jovial best when I'm here.  
 

 

 



 

 

A new chapter in Hong Kong by erwin lian

Abandoning my past successes and distancing myself from the familiar, I recently made a radical decision and moved to Hong Kong. It’s been an interesting chapter so far. Due to the space constraints, I couldn’t bring many art supplies/sketchbooks with me. Most of these recent sketches were made with my Ipad. 

On a positive note, I have finally managed to reconfigure my sleep pattern and resumed hitting the gym at 5.30 am daily.  

 30 Kg was all I can bring. Heavy enough to make me feel the weight of baggages . 

30 Kg was all I can bring. Heavy enough to make me feel the weight of baggages . 

 I moved into a tiny but nice place with a community of friendly people from all around the world. 

I moved into a tiny but nice place with a community of friendly people from all around the world. 

 Jack and Kenny. Two of the many friendly staffs who manage the apartment that I am staying at

Jack and Kenny. Two of the many friendly staffs who manage the apartment that I am staying at

 The passengers I recorded during my commute one day. Many interesting faces in this uber dense city.

The passengers I recorded during my commute one day. Many interesting faces in this uber dense city.

I decided to teach art in a secondary school here in Hong Kong.

 Our principle giving us, the new staffs an opening speech during our induction program

Our principle giving us, the new staffs an opening speech during our induction program

 Induction program continues with more information. HR, Finance, IT, Teaching for Learning .....the whole nine yards...

Induction program continues with more information. HR, Finance, IT, Teaching for Learning .....the whole nine yards...

 Induction program pauses with a school gathering in a Hotel with team bonding activities and tasks. Didn't have an ipad so its down to the hotels' pen and paper. There was a painting competition to draw a sun ...and I rubbed some pigment on the canvas and turned it in. Ha Ha, I won the competition .... duh 

Induction program pauses with a school gathering in a Hotel with team bonding activities and tasks. Didn't have an ipad so its down to the hotels' pen and paper. There was a painting competition to draw a sun ...and I rubbed some pigment on the canvas and turned it in. Ha Ha, I won the competition .... duh 

 Induction program continues

Induction program continues

 More induction program with more information. 

More induction program with more information. 



 


 
 

Sketch Bhutan June 2018 by erwin lian

Last week, in collaboration with Drukasia, I conducted Sketch Bhutan 2018. Similar to last year, participants from Australia and Singapore joined me on an all-inclusive sketching tour to Bhutan. Within 7 days, they learned about sketching and painting on-site while touring Bhutan.

Here are some of my paintings and sketches completed during the workshops:

 Flight to Bhutan via Drukair

Flight to Bhutan via Drukair

 Tiger nest sketch 

Tiger nest sketch 

 Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu

Tashichho Dzong, Thimphu

 Chimi Lhakhang , Punakha

Chimi Lhakhang , Punakha

 Thimphu from Namgay Heritage

Thimphu from Namgay Heritage

 Live drawing of Sangay

Live drawing of Sangay

 Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha (36.5 cm x 24 cm)

Chimi Lhakhang, Punakha (36.5 cm x 24 cm)

 Punakha Dzong, 37.5cm x 21 cm)

Punakha Dzong, 37.5cm x 21 cm)

 Shop houses opposite the post office. (26 cm x 18 cm)

Shop houses opposite the post office. (26 cm x 18 cm)

 Tashichho Dzong 27 cm x 12.5 cm

Tashichho Dzong 27 cm x 12.5 cm

The backstory to Sketch Bhutan:
About three years ago, I spent a month in Bhutan volunteering as an Art coach to various primary schools and organization.

 Taught drawing to Shaba Primary and donated some art supplies to their art club.

Taught drawing to Shaba Primary and donated some art supplies to their art club.

As part of my effort, I rallied a few Bhutanese friends to initiate Thimphu’s Urban Sketchers chapter. Just like that, Urban Sketchers, Thimphu chapter was born =)

 The founding members of Urban Sketchers, Thimphu 

The founding members of Urban Sketchers, Thimphu 

While I enjoyed coaching art to students in Bhutan, one of the things that troubled me extensively was the guilt of influencing others to pick up art where a livelihood may never be realized. When Bhutanese children asked me about the future of being an artist?

 At Shaba Primary, I brought them art supplies and sketchbooks sponsored by Bynd Artisan and a few friends.

At Shaba Primary, I brought them art supplies and sketchbooks sponsored by Bynd Artisan and a few friends.

I cringed and advised them to enjoy sketching merely as a hobby. This episode bugged me for years as I persisted with my hunt for a more sustainable lifestyle in the arts. Sketch Bhutan is one of these initiatives where I bring tourists to Bhutan to not only sketch and tour but also for creating meaningful interactions and exchanges with Bhutanese artists. Members of VAST Bhutan (Voluntary Artists' Studio Thimphu) for instance, are welcome to attend our sketch lessons and a hired Bhutanese Art Instructor, Rajesh, co-teaches with me throughout our sketch and travel experience.

Unlike other sketching experiences that I'd attended, our focus isn’t on the technical competencies in sketching. Rather, I wanted to provide the perfect travel sketch experience where participants can very comfortably sketch and be fully immersed with their environment. Accompanied by a professional tour guide and driver, Sketch Bhutan offers the harmonious ease of an on-location group sketching experience.

Sketch Bhutan 2017

 Sketch Bhutan 2017

Sketch Bhutan 2017

Unlike other sketching experiences that I'd attended, our focus isn’t on the technical competencies in sketching. Rather, I wanted to provide the perfect travel sketch experience where participants can very comfortably sketch and be fully immersed with their environment. Accompanied by a professional tour guide and driver, Sketch Bhutan offers the harmonious ease of an on-location group sketching experience.

Highlights of Sketch Bhutan 2018:
This year, we managed to find a new and wonderful spot to sketch and paint Tashichho Dzong.

 Painting Tashichho Dzong 

Painting Tashichho Dzong 

 Another successful run of portrait drawing at VAST Bhutan

Another successful run of portrait drawing at VAST Bhutan

 Sangay and her friend Tshsten were our beautiful models

Sangay and her friend Tshsten were our beautiful models

Once again, we were very fortunate to have VAST Bhutan host us and invited Sangay and Tschten, to be our models. VAST students were amazingly attentive and time went by so quickly at VAST. 

 The friendly children in Thimphu.

The friendly children in Thimphu.

While sketching the old buildings around Thimphu, a group of children came to us and offered us candies.

 Punakha Dzong. The most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan

Punakha Dzong. The most beautiful Dzong in Bhutan

In Punakha, We switched gears and I taught color theory and the handling of pigment for plein-air watercolor studies. We also visited Bhutan’s most beautiful Dzong, Punakha Dzong and spent our evening painting this iconic fortress.

Of course, we didn’t forget to end our trip without a sketch Bhutan’s most sublime attraction, The Tiger Nest at Paro.

 Phyllis sketching up at Tiger's Nest

Phyllis sketching up at Tiger's Nest

When is the next Sketch Bhutan

As long as there are 4 participants interested? They can register via Drukasia tour agency.
Bhutan’s finest artist, Rajesh will be leading Sketching Bhutan. Rajesh is a co-founder of VAST Bhutan and has extensive experience teaching, sketching and painting on-location.

Contact Drukasia today to request for a sketching tour.

 Rajesh, one of the finest artists in Bhutan will be leading Sketch Bhutan tours. Contact Drukasia to book your next sketching tour. 

Rajesh, one of the finest artists in Bhutan will be leading Sketch Bhutan tours. Contact Drukasia to book your next sketching tour. 

What have I learned or gained from starting Sketching Bhutan?

1st time:

  • Blown away by Bhutan’s pristine landscape and wished I have more time to paint the place.This wish came true when Drukasia bartered the usage of my sketches on their corporate calendar in exchange for a 2 weeks trip to Bhutan
 Paintings featured in Drukasia's calendar

Paintings featured in Drukasia's calendar


2nd time:
Solo painting trip.

  • I gotten to know quite a number people and was given this special cockpit landing experience.Was commissioned by Drukair to do a painting.
  • Participated in a group show with the finest Bhutan Artists in Singapore. 
 Group show with Asha Karma and other VAST artists.

Group show with Asha Karma and other VAST artists.

3rd time:

  • Spent close to 3 weeks teaching and sketching Bhutan.
  • Volunteered to do sketching and painting workshops at Shaba primary, VAST Bhutan and also Thimphu Primary school.
  • Experienced the real local life with local accommodations.
 Teaching basic of drawing at VAST Bhutan

Teaching basic of drawing at VAST Bhutan

  • Help founded Urban Sketchers, Thimphu chapter. The following year, founding members of Urban Sketchers, Thimphu were invited to attend the Urban Sketchers Symposium in Singapore.
 Look for the Bhutanese in the group !

Look for the Bhutanese in the group !

4th time:

  • Collaborated with Drukasia and initiated Sketch Bhutan. Brought 8 special participants to The Kingdom of Bhutan. The whole experience forced me to recognize and come to term with various aspects of running a successful traveling workshop. From cost and preparation of art materials, marketing, to the considerations of logistical arrangements and teaching materials, it was challenging to make these work. The operation needed to be profitable so that it can be sustainable. 
 Sketch Bhutan 2017

Sketch Bhutan 2017

5th time:
Second Sketch Bhutan.

  • Successfully handed Sketch Bhutan to Bhutan artists, Rajesh.
  • Operations will continue with more frequencies!
  • I had plenty of epiphanies throughout these trips but what hit me hard on the 5th trip were our interactions with romance. Often driven by insecurities, many of us like to park our ideals in romance and unconsciously subscribed to delusions.
  • It’s also interesting to note that by doing something for the locals, I am granted this ‘role-reversal’, where I get to experience how it is like to be ‘in control’ and to objectively assess my own predicaments and solutions. The tussle for power, status and pecking order diminishes in the grand scheme of things.  Life is just a dream.

Sketch Jakarta, April 2018 by erwin lian

Went for a short weekend trip to Jakarta and held a spontaneous sketching workshop there. Despite the short notice and zero advertising, we had a great turn-out. Special thanks to all my Indo Buckeye friends for their extended help and support. Shout out to Andre, Dino, James, Donald, Jeff and Hongy for their hospitality in Jakarta. 

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Cycling and sketching in Taipei by erwin lian

I took a short trip to Taipei from April 26 to April 29 and managed to squeeze in some time to sketch and cycle. Special thanks to Paul Chui and Hughes Lu for loaning me their Brompton bicycle. This isn't my first time cycling in Taiwan and I was pleasantly surprised by the amazing cycling routes in Taipei City. It's absolutely beautiful and quite easy to get around. 

 Took Flyscoot 889 red eye flight to TPE. Painted this in Changi Airport. I was to arrive in TPE at 5 30 am !!!!

Took Flyscoot 889 red eye flight to TPE. Painted this in Changi Airport. I was to arrive in TPE at 5 30 am !!!!

 My first stop happened to be the lockers at Taipei Main Station. Had a heavy bag and Hotel check-in time is at 3 pm

My first stop happened to be the lockers at Taipei Main Station. Had a heavy bag and Hotel check-in time is at 3 pm

 Nothing is opened at 7 so I decided to go to Visit Long Shan Temple and be among the earliest to make a wish.  Wish didn't come true..... YET

Nothing is opened at 7 so I decided to go to Visit Long Shan Temple and be among the earliest to make a wish.  Wish didn't come true..... YET

 Then I headed up to Tamsui to meet Hughes. He's super duper nice and loaned me his black Brompton bike that is crazy decked out. Also guided me around and off I went from Tamsui down to Shilin area.

Then I headed up to Tamsui to meet Hughes. He's super duper nice and loaned me his black Brompton bike that is crazy decked out. Also guided me around and off I went from Tamsui down to Shilin area.

 Crazy beautiful weather . I was super lucky.  The cycling route in Taipei is super nice.

Crazy beautiful weather . I was super lucky.  The cycling route in Taipei is super nice.

 Entire cycling path runs along the river. 

Entire cycling path runs along the river. 

 After Beitou , I found a spot to paint in the shelter. It was super nice.

After Beitou , I found a spot to paint in the shelter. It was super nice.

 Half way there.

Half way there.

 Somewhere near Beitou

Somewhere near Beitou

 Then I sneaked out from Yuan Shan area and ride towards Shilin area.

Then I sneaked out from Yuan Shan area and ride towards Shilin area.

 Somewhere near Dadao Cheng Pier. Another great spot to paint

Somewhere near Dadao Cheng Pier. Another great spot to paint

 Like Seoul, Plenty of bridges and beautiful scenes. 

Like Seoul, Plenty of bridges and beautiful scenes. 

 It is so so so beautiful at some spots,  I can't believe I was in Taipei.

It is so so so beautiful at some spots,  I can't believe I was in Taipei.

el_TPE_bike-20.jpg
 I spent some time cycling around Dihua Street and thought I may bump into a dear friend there. 

I spent some time cycling around Dihua Street and thought I may bump into a dear friend there. 

el_TPE_bike-62.jpg
 The power towers were interesting enough to earn a page in my sketchbook.

The power towers were interesting enough to earn a page in my sketchbook.

 Baopiliao Old Street was quite a nice spot to paint as well. Interesting old buildings well preserved.

Baopiliao Old Street was quite a nice spot to paint as well. Interesting old buildings well preserved.

 I sketched the Brompton in the hotel and gave this sketch to Hughes. Thankful to be able to ride his Brompton in Taipei. It would have been a lot more troublesome to bring mine.

I sketched the Brompton in the hotel and gave this sketch to Hughes. Thankful to be able to ride his Brompton in Taipei. It would have been a lot more troublesome to bring mine.

 I enjoyed the new Taipei MRT to the airport. Its really comfortable and easy

I enjoyed the new Taipei MRT to the airport. Its really comfortable and easy

 Flyscoot my way back to Singapore. Taipei will always have a special spot in my heart. 

Flyscoot my way back to Singapore. Taipei will always have a special spot in my heart. 

 Finally got up the Mao Kong after numerous failed attempts.  Its quite a sight and I am glad I finally scaled up. 

Finally got up the Mao Kong after numerous failed attempts.  Its quite a sight and I am glad I finally scaled up. 

Thank you, Paul Chui and Hughes Lu from Bike Gang for sharing their Brompton with me.  Super grateful for all your hospitality and I look forward to your visit to Singapore :) 

 An old sketch I did of Taipei from a hike up Elephant mountain.

An old sketch I did of Taipei from a hike up Elephant mountain.

INTERLACE, A Group Show Featuring The Sketchbooks of 20 Artists by erwin lian

INTERLACE will be closing this weekend, 31 March 2018.
I did a few guided tours in the past few weeks and I just wanted to share some thoughts that went into this sketchbook exhibition

 Guided tour at Bynd Artisan

Guided tour at Bynd Artisan

Special thanks to all participating artists for making INTERLACE, a reality. 
INTERLACE IS A SKETCHBOOK EXHIBITION, showcasing the works of 20 prominent artists who supported The Perfect Sketchbook.

How did this start?
A sketchbook is known to hold an artist’s most intimate ideas and processes. Naturally, with a higher quality sketchbook, I thought it will be a great idea to showcase the works of our best and most influential backers from The Perfect Sketchbook campaign. I also truly believe that only great art can make a sketchbook perfect.  Knowing early on that I couldn’t turn The Perfect Sketchbook project into a sustainable business, I reserved some books after every release and would approach galleries and museums to pitch the idea of a group show. Even with book sponsorships, these galleries, mostly in America, would turn me down. A few informed me that it will not be profitable and I shelved this idea until Winnie, the owner of Bynd Artisan suggested that I hold the show in their retail store. We would be limited by space but the location is great and there would be considerable foot traffic. To mitigate the cost of shipping these books to our Artists, we would sell the last reserved copies (about 50) of The Perfect Sketchbook B5 during the launch of our group show, Interlace. 

Since the art show would feature 20 sketchbooks, we needed to create custom frames that would hold these sketchbooks and at the same time allow for easy page changes. E.g. If the sketchbook has 5 painted spreads; someone must be able to easily remove the sketchbook from the frame, flip to the next page, and reinstall it. 

A more detailed interview to these can be found on James Gurney’s blog at:
http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.sg/2018/03/sketchbook-exhibition-in-singapore.html

Who are these 20 artists?
They are all backers of The Perfect Sketchbook and their complete profiles can be found in this PDF file

James Gurney (http://jamesgurney.com)

 The Perfect Type Writer by James Gurney

The Perfect Type Writer by James Gurney

One of the most prolific plein-air painter in this world. New York Times best-selling author of The Dinotopia Series and author of the book Colors and Lights. I was really fortunate to receive
his support when I first launched The Perfect Sketchbook on Kickstarter. James was generous enough to share my project with his audiences and play a crucial role with success of The Perfect Sketchbook

Nathan Fowkes (http://www.nathanfowkesart.com/)

 Jerusalem by Nathan Fowkes

Jerusalem by Nathan Fowkes

A veteran in the entertainment industry with credits in more than 11 feature films. His work is amazing and I am a fan. Super fortunate to receive his support and was completely over the moon when he agreed to participate in our group show.

Catherine Hamilton (http://mydogoscar.com/birdspot/)

 Purple Gallinules by Catherine Hamilton

Purple Gallinules by Catherine Hamilton

Catherine's exquisite paintings and studies of birds caught my attention. She’s an ambassador for Zeiss and travels around the world studying birds.

Marvin Chew (https://www.marvinchew.com/)

 Shop houses along Kreta Ayer Road by Marvin Chew

Shop houses along Kreta Ayer Road by Marvin Chew

Former vice-president of The Singapore Watercolor Society. Marvin’s work is well known in Singapore and he has been supportive of The Perfect Sketchbook since the first edition.  During our Indiegogo campaign, Marvin shared professional tips on using watercolor.

Don Low (http://www.donlow-illustration.com/)

 Chinatown by Don Low

Chinatown by Don Low

One of the most underrated artist in Singapore who is well versed in just about any medium.


Isabella King (http://isabellakung.com/)

 Crystalized by Isabella Kung

Crystalized by Isabella Kung

An award-winning children book illustrator based in San Francisco.  Talented and helped share The Perfect Sketchbook campaign to people in North Cal.

Jerome Moo (http://jeromemoo.com/)

 Inverlocy Art School by Jerome Moo

Inverlocy Art School by Jerome Moo

I got to know Jerome because he backed the most B5 Sketchbooks and caught my attention. I later learn that he worked at Lucasfilm and is a great Plein-air painter. He now works as a senior matte painter at Weta Digital in New Zealand

Justin Pastores (http://www.justinpastores.com/)

 Collector no.7 by Justin Pastores

Collector no.7 by Justin Pastores

One of my earliest instagram follower whom I noticed to have great work and paints diligently. He’s been a great supporters for all our sketchbook.

Audrey (https://www.instagram.com/audrey_ish/)

 The Subjective Vertical by Audrey

The Subjective Vertical by Audrey

Audrey and I partnered on a few business ventures in the past and most of the inspirations for The Perfect Sketchbook were extracts from her. A pivotal supporter and an amazing artist with a passion in animation and dance.

Tracy Lewis (http://www.tracylewisart.com/

 Risk to Blossom by Tracy Lewis

Risk to Blossom by Tracy Lewis

An amazing watercolorist who is known for her transparent watercolor with a candy coat of Easter-like color.  Beautiful work that also caught my attention when I noticed how she painted.

Fawn Veerasunthorn (https://www.instagram.com/fawnv/)

 Year of the Dog by Fawn Veerasunthorn

Year of the Dog by Fawn Veerasunthorn

Known for her amazing storyboard work in numerous Disney Featured Films. I was lucky to have gone to school with her and managed to garner her support during The Perfect Sketchbook Campaign.

Ryan Green (https://www.instagram.com/ryangreenart/)

 Bah by Ryan Green

Bah by Ryan Green

Husband of Fawn. Ryan also worked at Disney featured film and saved Hei Hei from getting killed in the movie, Moana. Super fortunate to have gotten his support early on during our Kickstarter Campaign. He paid attention to my campaign and advised me to disengage with adversary early on during our campaign.

Hiroshi Hayakawa (http://www.hiroshi-hayakawa.com/

 Vanitas by Hiroshi Hayakawa

Vanitas by Hiroshi Hayakawa

My talented Photography Professor from Columbus College of Art. He supported heavily when our kickstarter was literally stuck and not making it. Hiroshi is also well versed in traditional medium and is the author of a series of Kirigami books.

Nathaniel Underwood (https://www.instagram.com/nathaniel_underwoodart/

 Composition 3 by Nathaniel Underwood

Composition 3 by Nathaniel Underwood

Painting buddy from Columbus College of Art who supported my Kickstarter and is an amazing painter currently represented by Sharon Weiss Gallery in Columbus

Iuri Lioi (http://www.iurilioi.com/

 Desert Symmetries by Iuri

Desert Symmetries by Iuri


Visual Development Artist at Dreamworks. I know Iuri from Graduate School at The Ohio State University but knew he was such a good painter until I saw his work in The Perfect Sketchbook.

Anthony Francisco (https://www.instagram.com/anthony_francisco_art/

 Baby Groot dances by Anthony Francisco

Baby Groot dances by Anthony Francisco


Known for his involvement with Marvel Comic Universe. Anthony is a Visual Development Concept Artists at Marvel.  Was fortunate to receive his support during our first kickstarter.

Namchai Saensupha (https://www.instagram.com/namchai_sketches/)

 Nov 27 by Namchai

Nov 27 by Namchai


An Architect from Thailand who caught my attention with his amazing watercolor landscapes.
One of my favorite artists when it comes to style and attitude.

Steve Mitchell (http://stevemitchelldesign.com/)

 Transparent watercolor by Steve Mitchell

Transparent watercolor by Steve Mitchell

A prominent Youtube Artist with the channel, Mind of Watercolor. I approached Steve during my Indiegogo campaign was very fortunate to receive his support. He was generous enough to share my campaign with his audiences.

Jackson Dryden (https://www.instagram.com/drydenart/)

 Transformation of a Diety by Jackson Dryden

Transformation of a Diety by Jackson Dryden

 

An amazing artist with a passion for sketchbooks. Jackon caught my attention when it comes to stylization and skills.

WHY ?
I started all these to prove to myself that I don’t have to be rich or famous to make great things. Traveling around the world, making our own products and hosting our own group show with very little capital, I did it all and I am eternally grateful for everyone's support along the way.

The show, the sketchbooks, and traveling have given me great insights into numerous delusional thoughts or ideas that I have had about art, business, and life. Truly grateful for all the support that I have received from everyone.

 

 

4 days of sketching and cycling Taiwan by erwin lian

Took part in Taiwan's Brompton World Championship racing event last weekend at Chang Hua.
Went a few days early and did a little bit of sketching and cycling here and there.

Tools:
1) My Brompton
2) A pocket sized Accordion Moleskine.
3) Clutch Pencil, Kneaded eraser and a sharpener

Day 1:
Started from my hotel, near Taipei Main Station to Dihua Street. Was planning to sketch some of the beautiful buildings there but ended up cycling aimlessly.... until I stopped at a beautifully lit building.

 The lights falling off this building and trees caught my attention.

The lights falling off this building and trees caught my attention.

 Sketch of a Street Scene near Dihua Street.

Sketch of a Street Scene near Dihua Street.

Rode up north and cycled along the river near Shilin. 

 Saw a dead bird when I cycle back to Taipei Main Station.

Saw a dead bird when I cycle back to Taipei Main Station.

 Stop by Yuan Shan to attend a figure drawing session. Model switch poses like clockwork. 5 minutes, clock vibrates and she switched.  There's a rather distinctive Taiwanese feature on her and I couldn't pin down what it is. 

Stop by Yuan Shan to attend a figure drawing session. Model switch poses like clockwork. 5 minutes, clock vibrates and she switched.  There's a rather distinctive Taiwanese feature on her and I couldn't pin down what it is. 

Stop by CCH Studio to attend a figure drawing session. It was a great gathering and I sat beside a retiree.  The studio was packed and the instructor was very welcoming and friendly. I really dig it. 

Day 2 : I woke up early to cycle along Tamshui and check out the market. 

tamsui.jpg
 My Sketching Companion & Tools 

My Sketching Companion & Tools 

 Stop by Jian Tan and noticed that the shops have changed from a few years ago. New bicycle shops and this Louisa Coffee Cafe

Stop by Jian Tan and noticed that the shops have changed from a few years ago. New bicycle shops and this Louisa Coffee Cafe

Day 3:
Taipei drizzled a little and its time I escape to Taichung via HSR. When I got to Taichung, I have assembled my bicycle again and got some Milk Tea at a local 85c Cafe. Sketched some scooters here before I cycle my heart out just to Taichung Confucius Temple. Only 30 minutes to sketch this scene. 

 Taiwan's national commute = The Scooters. Their daily dosage of hugs and snuggles.

Taiwan's national commute = The Scooters. Their daily dosage of hugs and snuggles.

confucious.jpg
 Got to rest early before I take part in the cycling race tomorrow at Chang Hua 

Got to rest early before I take part in the cycling race tomorrow at Chang Hua 

 Gotta look sharp when riding a bicycle in Taiwan. 

Gotta look sharp when riding a bicycle in Taiwan. 

Day 4: Brompton World Championship day at Chang Hua

 Didn't bring a cover and was hoping to not get caught in the Train.. hehe lucked out 

Didn't bring a cover and was hoping to not get caught in the Train.. hehe lucked out 

I woke up early to take the local train to Taichung HSR but jumped on the wrong train. Instead of one-stop south to Changhua, I went on an express train and it shot passed all stations and reached Zuoying. I love the HSR and actually didn't mind this incidental round island affair. Jumped onto the next train North and got to the race, on time. Nope. they didn't charge me extra .... this is probably the trick to get a total HSR ride down and up for a fraction of the real cost :P 

 I made it to the race on time, after all !

I made it to the race on time, after all !

 Race of 12 Km and the fastest guy finished in about 19 minutes. 

Race of 12 Km and the fastest guy finished in about 19 minutes. 

 My entire trip in a piece :) 

My entire trip in a piece :) 

Overall, a great trip. 
Thank you all my Taiwanese friends who came out to spend time with me.
 

Cycling from Seoul to Busan ( 4 rivers cycling pathway) by erwin lian

 

Sept 5.  2017
I packed my tiny bicycle and flew to Korea. 

 Needed to discard more stuff for the trip.  Excess baggage is bad.

Needed to discard more stuff for the trip.  Excess baggage is bad.

This was a rather spontaneous trip and a much needed one for me to clear some matters off my head.  Besides, I enjoy being out and about, getting lost and figuring my ways around. It’s something I always wished I could do in college but was never financially capable. Given my present good health, a bit of saving and plenty of down-time from work, I thought it was high-time I complete these to-dos.

 Brompton all packed and ready 

Brompton all packed and ready 

 Flight to Seoul. Quite a pleasant flight.

Flight to Seoul. Quite a pleasant flight.

Not really a sketching trip:
Since I wanted to pack as little as possible, I only managed to bring a tiny sketchbook and broke a few decent brushes to fit them into a small hard-case.  To shrink everything down, I brought 2 tiny plastic cups and used them as water containers. With two set of cycling attires, some washing detergent, I am off to Korea’s 4 rivers cycle path way.  My goal is to reach Busan from Incheon via her dedicated 600+km cycling path. I had about 7 days to do so and did not plan much. Fortunately, I found someone’s itinerary on google map and it was super nifty. Thanks John Graham
 

 Map I found online that got me through the entire trip.

Map I found online that got me through the entire trip.

Day 1:
I woke up around 8/9 am and took the airport train to Cheongna In’t City Station. Inflated my tires and proceeded to the starting point at Ara West Sea Lock. I also bought a mini passport to collect all the stamps along the way.

 Journey of a 1000 miles began with one step. Starting point at Ara Lock 

Journey of a 1000 miles began with one step. Starting point at Ara Lock 

Today, I rode more than 60km to Seoul and stayed overnight in a motel near Gil-Dong. It rained a little but thankfully not too heavy and I managed to arrive safely.  Daily routine of washing clothes began...

 Rained a little but I got to Gil Dong.

Rained a little but I got to Gil Dong.

Day 2:
Rode about 100 Km today towards Yeoju and passed by the city of Hanam to arrive at Sun Valley Hotel in Yeoju. It’s a water theme-park hotel and costed a little more but I thought there would be a nice view for me to do some sketching. Passed by numerous tunnels built specially for cycling today; It was spectacular.

 Check into Sun Valley hotel with a super nice view of the river and did a sketch 

Check into Sun Valley hotel with a super nice view of the river and did a sketch 

Day 3:
Woke up super early today at 6 to start my ride at 7.  It was a little foggy and I met Gaith from Canada and Mangi from Korea during today’s ride. We rode about 100km to Suan Bo. At first, I was feeling ambitious and wanted to try for 150 km.  Mangi laughed and didn't think I can make the distance. I forgotten that I will be facing some serious elevation pass Suan Bo until Gaith busted out his maps and discussed about the journey ahead. We reached Suanbo and I checked into a hot spring hotel.  Suan Bo was a quiet town with a bunch of restaurants and hot spring motels.

 Met Gaith and Mangi along the way. Mangi was super nice and paced down to accompany me all the way to Suan Bo. I felt bad slowing him down.

Met Gaith and Mangi along the way. Mangi was super nice and paced down to accompany me all the way to Suan Bo. I felt bad slowing him down.

 Checked into Suan Bo

Checked into Suan Bo

Day 4:
Woke up at 6 and started my ride a bit before 7. It was super foggy and the climb started right after away. There were a few teaser climbs before the eventual climb…500 metres over a stretch of 5km. The down ride was superrrrrr fun.

 Climbing is always a struggle and more so if you are fixated with the thought of pain.

Climbing is always a struggle and more so if you are fixated with the thought of pain.

 I reached the peak eventually :) It was gorgeous. 

I reached the peak eventually :) It was gorgeous. 

 I eventually made it to the top.  It was a really pleasant feeling and I wanted to hang out there for a little more but have some serious distance to go .

I eventually made it to the top.  It was a really pleasant feeling and I wanted to hang out there for a little more but have some serious distance to go .

It took me a while and I struggled a little with my tiny bike. Since I don’t know where I am going and how far it will take, I throttle ahead.Eventually I reached the peak.

 This stretch from Suan-Bo toward Mueng Yong is the most beautiful . It also happen to be the most strenuous. I don't know if they planned it that way. 

This stretch from Suan-Bo toward Mueng Yong is the most beautiful . It also happen to be the most strenuous. I don't know if they planned it that way. 

100 km later, I reached Nakdong-Ro at about 5pm and check into a small love motel. Those funky lights they had in these love motels were awful. Accidentally, I flipped them on a few times and thought I entered a haunted house. It was funny.

Day 5:
Mega foggy day. Though I intended to ride down to Hyeongpung-Myeon, I realized from the weather forecast that I may be cycling into a thunderstorm. The forecast indicated 95% rain. Decided to jettison today’s destination and cycled into Daegu. Checked into a nice hotel and will take the KTX (bullet train) to Busan tomorrow. That way, I can spend an entire day in Busan. One free day in Seoul too.

 Checked into a hotel in Daegu and got upgraded to a suite.  Super good sleep

Checked into a hotel in Daegu and got upgraded to a suite.  Super good sleep

 Best sleep through the journey. No funky lights in this hotel :P 

Best sleep through the journey. No funky lights in this hotel :P 

Day 6:
It poured in Daegue and the forecast was right. It rained all through Busan. Managed to jump onto the subway, then KTX and kept myself mostly dried.

 Haedong Yonggunsa is so sublime. I paid my respect to the Buddha here and thank everything for the safe journey. I got lucky and saw the storm from the distance. 

Haedong Yonggunsa is so sublime. I paid my respect to the Buddha here and thank everything for the safe journey. I got lucky and saw the storm from the distance. 

When the rain stopped in Busan, I hopped onto the subway and cycled to Haedong Yonggunsa, a 14th century seaside Buddhist temple. It was magnificent and I speed sketch a little of the coast.  Fukuoka (Japan), from what I remembered is just about a boat ride from Busan.

 A quick sketch in The Perfect Sketchbook pocket

A quick sketch in The Perfect Sketchbook pocket

 

Spend the night feasting sashimi at Jagalchi Market. Kind of crazy to be chewing down moving octopus.

 Checked out Gamcheon Cultural Village before I set off to Seoul . I envy artists from abroad having spaces to work their craft. I read that there are lot of artists who lived out here. 

Checked out Gamcheon Cultural Village before I set off to Seoul . I envy artists from abroad having spaces to work their craft. I read that there are lot of artists who lived out here. 

 

Day 7:
Took the KTX back to Seoul. Cycle a little through the city to stayed near Hongdae. Lots of hills in Seoul but it was quite fun to cycle through the back alleys and narrow streets. Eventually, I reached my hotel room and explored the nearby universities and fashion streets.

 Finally got to sketch Seoul a little. 

Finally got to sketch Seoul a little. 

Day 8:
Time to ride back to Incheon from Seoul. Today I got more time to sketch along the way and did a few tiny sketches before eventually resting in a hotel at Incheon. My cycling trip is finally over.

 Finally some time along the cycling path. 

Finally some time along the cycling path. 

 Farewell Seoul :) 

Farewell Seoul :) 

In Transit 2016 by erwin lian

In-Transit

Sep 01, 2016.
One month in America.

During this trip, I caught up with so many friends and held a show at Curt’s new tattoo shop, Enso Tattoo.  My flight was delayed in Hong Kong due to the weather. When I reached Dallas? I missed the connection to Ohio… Luckily, there was another flight scheduled for CMH and I reached at about 2am. (Thursday night)

Jet lag consumed me and I couldn’t sleep… Awake the whole time, I proceeded to set up my show with Curt until midnight on Friday. I was completely destroyed on Friday night but In-Transit was scheduled to open on Saturday and we have 29 paintings to frame and hang….  
 

 Eventually we succeeded and put everything up right before Gallery Hop !

Eventually we succeeded and put everything up right before Gallery Hop !

 It came as a nice surprise when one of my backers, Cassandra for The Perfect Sketchbook notified her mum to visit my show on Saturday. What's interesting is that Cassandra who now lives in France was actually from Columbus, Ohio. Her mum bought a painting that day before the show opened!!

Framing and putting up 29 paintings within 48 hours wouldn’t be possible without my amazing friends. Special thanks to these amazing friends: Daniel Painter (Decal) Curt Everitte (everything) Joe Galati (Cutting Matts and frames) Nathaniel Wood (Cutting Mattes and frame).

 

 Taught a watercolor workshop to a bunch of Tattoo Artists and Enthusiast at Enso Tatto 

Taught a watercolor workshop to a bunch of Tattoo Artists and Enthusiast at Enso Tatto 

The show successfully opened on Gallery Hop night. Unfortunately the traffic wasn’t that great since there was an Ohio State game. However, I was super stoked to have caught up with many of my college friends and professors. It was defiantly one of those moments where I felt a genuine sense of belonging.  Realizing that I haven’t done much to promote my show, Professor Hiroshi suggested that I email the Columbus Dispatch to notify them of my show. I thought it was harmless and emailed. Interestingly, the Columbus Dispatch responded and wrote a full front page feature on their life section in the papers. A few more sales resulted from this feature.  Thanks to Charlotte, I was also given a chance to speak to an audience of about 100 students in the Cazani auditorium at The Columbus College of Art. 

 Interview by The Columbus Dispatch 

Interview by The Columbus Dispatch 

 Speaking at CCAD 

Speaking at CCAD 

There’s so much I wanted to write here but the most important things really aren’t my paintings or my crowd funding projects. It’s actually my amazing friends in America who saw me through the toughest time in college and life; they are my family’. Mad thanks to Dr Chilin Yu for always sharing her wisdom with me and not forgetting the Yue family and CaregiverUSA for providing me with shelter in Columbus, Ohio again.

 I didn't have much advertising. So we printed a bunch of cards and we just try to plaster as much as possible, wherever possible. (bad idea).. Here's one at CCAD. I didn't get approval because I was out of time. 

I didn't have much advertising. So we printed a bunch of cards and we just try to plaster as much as possible, wherever possible. (bad idea).. Here's one at CCAD. I didn't get approval because I was out of time. 

 The Yue Family provided shelter and cycling ! Thank you 

The Yue Family provided shelter and cycling ! Thank you 

 We cycled to the zoo to sent Nora away. 

We cycled to the zoo to sent Nora away. 

 Then one day, I just rent a car and gun it all the way to Canada to see this. 

Then one day, I just rent a car and gun it all the way to Canada to see this. 

 Went Plein-air with Curt at The Hocking Hills. Listened to radiolab on the roads.

Went Plein-air with Curt at The Hocking Hills. Listened to radiolab on the roads.

 My painting at Hocking hills. 

My painting at Hocking hills. 

 she was an amazing model .

she was an amazing model .

 Cleveland Musuem of Art is one hell of an impressive musuem 

Cleveland Musuem of Art is one hell of an impressive musuem 

 Met a gentlemen who works for a major eCommerce store when I was sketching here. He offered some freelance work. 

Met a gentlemen who works for a major eCommerce store when I was sketching here. He offered some freelance work. 

After Ohio, I took a flight to California and spent two weeks there to catch up with west coast buddies. I finally managed to visit Yosemite. It was amazing and I am so thankful. Thank you Youn and Hao for making it all possible. pd thanks to Janice and Pencil Cafe for convincing me to visit them.  I love you all.

 Yosemite is for real. 

Yosemite is for real. 

 Pencil Cafe is my Favorite Cafe. 

Pencil Cafe is my Favorite Cafe.