artist statement

How I draw architecture

I first learnt how to draw buildings when I studied architecture. Soon after, graphic software and digital camera rapidly developed, and the importance of hand-depicted architectural perspectives seemed to lose its importance. However, since I didn’t become an architectural professional, I never kept up with the contemporary computer-aided design skills; and thus I (could) keep drawing by hand.

In 2002-2003, I had plenty of time when I lived alone in Cebu, Philippines. While interviewing the residents of “Ancestral Homes” built in American colonial period for my dissertation, I suddenly came up with an idea - maybe I should draw these mansions; not photo. I should draw.

Drawing architecture with care takes time but makes me understand how the materials joined, and enables me to imagine about the people who initially built it a century ago, who renovated it after inheritance, and who actually live there now. I add people, cars, trees, and signs, making the drawing livelier than technical perspectives. It’s graphical, but not actual. It’s not bad to have a townscape graphically based on real world but not actually there.

In society and in each person’s life, there are various issues, but I don’t aim to express the problems or to provoke a debate through my drawings. No matter what happens in outside world, or inside myself, once I get into drawing, I have no negative nor even positive feelings. It’s only through drawing I can reach this feeling (or no-feeling). Because mountains are there, some people climb them; because these buildings are there, they make me to draw.

There is no need to search the social context or artistic message in my drawings as the artist draw without intricate concepts. I would be happy if I could share this very simple happiness I feel after I sign and look over the small and colourful townscape on paper. It’s a subtle, delightful, imagined real world. I will keep drawing the corners where people know, not so special, quite ordinary, yet with charm and local attachment.

Kiyoko Yamagcuhi