15. Hidden Beauty of Industrial Heritage & Spirit of Mumbai

April 19, 2021 “Hidden Beauty of Industrial Heritage & Spirit of Mumbai”

Wang An, Chaobing, Jenny (Jing) Zhang – USK China

Zainab Tambawalla

Chaobing, Jenny, Wang

The Hidden Beauty of Industrial Heritage

In this episode a group of sketchers from China offered us a rare look at the decommissioned factories, plants, and industrial complexes in their country. Once massive hubs of activity and production they are now vacant, in a state of disrepair, set for demolition or repurposed for other uses. There is a strange beauty that only a sketcher can appreciate in this rusting heritage and a fresh look at a chapter of Chinese history.

Wang An, Chaobing and Jenny joined us live from China and Chicago, representing USK China, to talk about this project. They shared the seed for this project was planted and how it grew into something big from there.


Spirit of Mumbai

Zainab Tambawalla from Mumbai has a very strong connection to her city and to the people who inhabit it. She feels that the city has a certain sense of work ethic that results in precision and perseverance in getting things done. She set out to explore the craftsmen in her city. Some of them live in the streets and make their living by weaving baskets. Others live and work in Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums where they produce thousands of pieces of pottery a day in hot quarters. They joke that no virus would survive in this heat. Yet, others are struggling to keep their businesses alive and pay rent during the hard times brought on by the pandemic.

Zainad shared with us how when starting this project, she didn’t know much about the spirit of Mumbai. Sketching was her way to dive in deep and learn a ton about the community. Her work is marked by a tremendous curiosity, listening and finding the right angle to approach the craftsmen.

Challenge: Capture a Nostalgic Heirloom

Most of us have something we value that has been handed down from previous generations. Sketch and show yours. What sets this challenge apart from a general still life would be to tell the story behind the item. That makes it an urban sketch!

Be sure to share your USk Talks Challenge sketches on Instagram using the hashtags #usktalks and #usktalkschallenge. Tag our guests in your challenge sketches, and follow them on Instagram: Jenny Zhang @jennymouse2003, Wang An @waang, Chaobing @chaobingsi and Zainab Tambawalla @zainabtambawalla and of course our host Rob Sketcherman @robsketcherman.

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