KC rode a bicycle with art materials in his backpack and found a vantage point of historical landmarks, took out his sketchbook and fountain pen, then painted his gaze under the scorching heat.
He's been doing this for 3 years. And the result of that?
An 88-meter-long sketch journal with 950 sketch places, which was put together from A3 paper.
KC with his bike and sketching a scene on the street / Photo credit: KC Lee
After graduating in fine arts, KC barely had time to devote to sketching as he was overwhelmed by his work in advertising and interior design.
But now things have changed.
“I'm on my way to handing my business down to my next generation. I now have more free time to travel to local and overseas sketch locations, ”he said.
The longest sketch journal of any person
"I have always preferred places and places that are historically and culturally rich and have their own significant delicacy," he said.
"I took inspiration from the Leper Hospital in Sungai Buloh during one of my sketching sessions in the Valley of Hope in 2017."
Sungai Buloh does not need to be introduced as it is the main location in KL for quarantining epidemic patients.
The leper hospital was built in the 1930s. Those who suffered from leprosy – an incurable skin disease at the time – were admitted to this Sungai Buloh settlement, which had a panoramic landscape and streams.
The moment a leper entered, they felt the hope that one day they would be completely cured of the disease and be able to return to society. So they called this place "Valley of Hope".
This is where it all started for KC.
Sketches by Masjid India and Jalan Bandar in KL / Photo credit: KC Lee
Most of the sketches consist of local stories in historical buildings, cultures, and lifestyles, and his last sketch was of Jonker Street in Malacca.
“Initially, Malacca was chosen as my final destination with the theme“ The Street Tales ”. Unfortunately, Jonker Street became the final destination of my sketching journal due to MCO with restricted movements, ”he said.
In an interview with The Star, KC said it sometimes takes him an hour to sketch a scene of a building.
Despite the amount of travel, creativity, and skills required to do his job, KC told Vulcan Post that he never thought about giving up halfway before his project was completed. In fact, it didn't even cross my mind.
His biggest challenge in all of journaling? Get sunburn.
His patience and determination to overcome this burden are what sets KC apart for its performance.
Sketches by KC / Photo Credit: KC Lee
In addition, this sketch journal is only part of a series.
"My sketch journal series has three parts that tell local stories, stories from overseas and my personal life story from birth to age 60," he said.
“For me personally, most of my emotions are collected and reflected in my own life story. I've revisited places where these stories took place, and looking back it was a touching story where miracles happened. "
Leading Urban Sketchers from KL
That year his work was recognized in the Malaysia Book of Records with the title "Longest Sketch Journal by an Individual".
KC's main goal is to use his performance as a Malaysian record holder to get others to sketch a diary as well.
"I don't see the Malaysia Book of Records as a platform for competition, but as a great encouragement for myself and others. I can frankly say that completing this long work of art is not an easy task, ”he said.
“It takes a lot of patience to sketch under the hot sun, finance my own flight and accommodation while traveling, and talk to the locals in search of destination stories. I did it, and so did the others. "
With this in mind, he founded the Facebook group Kuala Lumpur Urban Sketchers (KLUSK) in November 2015 to spread his passion for sketching in the city with a larger community.
In the aforementioned The Star interview, KC also shared that what started as a group for retirees with plenty of time to draw and meet new people is now made up of teenagers and working adults.
The group is for urban planners based in Kuala Lumpur to draw and tour the cities they live in, no matter where they are.
Sketch of the Dusun by Sunny Sun on KLUSK / Image Credi: KLUSK on Facebook
KLUSK follows a manifesto in the Urban Sketchers community that was originally founded in 2017 as a non-profit in Seattle, USA. It basically consists of a few guidelines to maintain their integrity.
It includes sketching indoor or outdoor live locations using all types of media (even drawings from digital tablets).
Urban draftsmen are not allowed to sketch from a photo and must start on a blank sheet of paper.
The group is also open to non-draftsmen as well as students who have the same interest in the group's activities.
- You can find out more about KLUSK here.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured image source: KC Lee, founder of Kuala Lumpur Urban Sketchers