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20 August 2018


In the light of the recent viral news, Lot 10’s management has since apologised for the action and unsatisfactory explanation given by their personnel to urban sketchers who participated in KL Sketchnation’s 40th Sketchwalk; who were sketching outside lot 10 but told to scram by the security guards last Saturday on 11th August 2018. Following the apologies, we were told that the personnels involved will be given a counselling. 

KL SKetchnation and YTL representative have met on the 16th August at 3.00 PM at the Isetan The Japan Store, Lot 10 for an open dialogue and discussed on the issue as well as the possibilities to collaborate for future events. 

Legality of sketching in a public area.

KL Sketchnation or ‘Pertubuhan Bangsa Seni Lakar [PPM-014-14-02112017]’ is a society registered under the Registry of Society Malaysia (ROS) officially since 2nd November 2017 and was formed to promote and educate the community on drawings, specifically on sketching.

Apparently, the act of sketching in public area is seen as a threat to some authorities and have affected our campaign to encourage the community to give attention to our own urban setting by evaluating them through sketches to increase appreciation towards our own city. 

We are well informed that it is not legal to do activities of gathering in a big group with in a mall as it is considered as a private place so we always do our gathering at open public spaces but always scattered while we are sketching because we do not want to disturb traffics or create suspicions as we were always get chased out from public areas because of this reason. 

Taking an example of the last incident, the number of participants on that day was 19 people but they came in at different times in different groups with a sole reason that is to experience the urban setting and sketch in their own sketchbook. Usually a group consists of only 2-3 friends but most of the time the sketchers choose to move alone. This is to highlight that even if we choose to move in a group, we always cluster into a small one, finding their own sweet spots to sketch and mingle with the community as part of the appreciation of the urban spaces because people love to engage with us sketchers. 

We at KL Sketchnation always evaluate our forthnightly sketchwalk through the significance of a place within our urban setting in Malaysia. We always keep our eyes on for public places that have interesting stories to tell as it is part of our goal to highlight the beauty of our city by sketching and discussing about them at weekends. 

Moving forward from the incident, we would like to launch a petition for local authorities to provide us sketchers with a blanket permit to sketch in all public areas throughout the city to nurture appreciation towards artistic as well as architectural value in the community. All premises that is connected and visible by public spaces should be well informed that, unless it’s a private space, there should never be any restriction for the community to do public sketching. 

Copyright of the building (as in “a work of architecture being a building or a model for a building” mentioned in the COPYRIGHT ACT 1987) is always the right of the owner/designer of the building built except for building that can be viewed from a public space, the copyright owner of the building ( the architect, building owner or building owner) cannot prevent the making, distributing or public display of pictures, paintings, sketches, photographs, or other pictorial representation of the building. 

The interpretation or the recreation of the “artistic work” (as in “a graphic work, photograph, sculpture or collage, irrespective of artistic quality” mentioned in the COPYRIGHT ACT 1987) should be the right of the sketcher/artist that created the work. 

This blanket permit should not just be giving the rights for the artist to sketch/draw buildings that can be seen from public spaces, but also have the full rights on the artwork piece drawn by the artist for any purpose including monetisation and exhibition. 

The sole purpose of this initiative is to encourage the growth of creative and artistic development of the community which would ultimately lead to the increase of the level of appreciation towards architectural value of our city. 



Ahmad Hakym Ahmad Hilmy

Founder of KL Sketch Nation

Sign The Petition Here
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