Artist captures historical heritage in drawings

Zhang Yugang, an amateur painter, held a free exhibition this month to display his 40 sketches of buildings designed by Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec.


Zhang Yugang, an amateur painter from northeastern China who settled in Shanghai in 2013, held a free exhibition this month to display his 40 sketches of buildings designed by Hungarian architect Laszlo Hudec.

Zhang was mesmerized by the city when he first arrived, especially the Bund.

“At first I drew sketches on the Bund,” he said. “Older local residents would stop and tell me about the history of the buildings. The name Hudec kept cropping up.

So Zhang set about reading books and searching archives for information on the famous architect.

“I found that Hudec was a prominent man in the history of Shanghai architecture,” he said

Zhang started to make drawings of Hudec buildings last year. His portfolio includes the Grand Theater, the Park Hotel, the Sun Ke Villa and the Catholic Sieh Yih Chapel.

“Many of the sites are not open to the public, and cameras just can’t capture a whole scene,” he said. “So drawing is the best way.”

He has embellished his work. One drawing shows a group of celebrities, including Charlie Chaplin, in front of the Grand Theater.

“I want to bring the old back to life,” he said.

On June 9, he was among a group of amateur artists drawing historical buildings along Shaanxi Road N, including the English-style garden villa and former residence of Hong Kong tycoon Ho Tung, and Juliet’s Balcony, an urban sculpture honoring Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”




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