Meet the Correspondent: Omar Jaramillo > Berlin$show=/search/label/Omar%20Jaramillo

"I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where I studied architecture. I moved to Kassel (Germany) in 1999 to accomplish a master degree. Although I have always drawn and paint, it was not until I started studying in the Uni-Kassel, that I started keeping a travel sketchbook. I had a teacher there who used to do a lot of sketches when he travelled on university excursions. When he retired, I helped to organize an exhibition of his sketches. He brought a huge box full of sketchbooks he had filled since he was an architecture student. I spent a whole day selecting the most interesting drawings. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes to a new world. In the last 10 years I have the feeling of being in a long journey. I like to discover the cities where I live, to understand why a place is the way it is and what makes it different and unique from others. Drawing is for me a way to learn to love a place, to become part of it. I like to draw architecture but I am more attracted to urban scenery, portraying how people live in the city. Since I’m a foreigner, everything that locals find normal and taken-for-granted, for me is exotic. I always carry a small watercolor travel set from Windsor and Newton and my sketchbook in my bag. I always thought that drawing was a solitary experience until I found Urban Sketchers. It was amazing to find so many people doing the same thing. It is a great place to share!" • Omar's blog. • Omar's art on flickr. • Omar's website.

Meet the Correspondent: Luis Ruiz > Malaga, Spain$show=/search/label/Luis%20Ruiz

A Chinese Funeral

According to Kat, her grandma led a bad life. She got married when she was very young and bore three children after. If I am not wrong, she was 15 years old since she was married. She managed her own business in Arab street that brought up her children single handedly. I couldn't really remember the details but I know 2 of her children passed away before her, leaving my dad-in-law. When we moved back from America and stayed with my dad-in-law, she moved in too from her Sin Ming Road HDB flat. Since then her condition has been deteriorating due to old age but she was still in good spirit. I wasn't really close to her but I did see her almost every day. There were some unpleasant episodes between her and my mom-in-law but those were just some of the many squabbles that happened in the house. 

For 2 years I saw her getting older and weaker but there was nothing I could do. A week before end of January, she got admitted to CGH and was diagnosed with pneumonia and heart disease. 3 days later she passed on. We were able to spend her last moments by her side and we believed she left peacefully. The wake and Buddhist funeral rites was carried out for the next 2 days at Sin Ming Funeral Parlor, and on the third, the eve of Chinese New Year Eve, she was buried at Choa Chu Kang cemetery. These are the sketches done during the funeral wake and the burial ceremony. 

Buddhist monks performing the funeral rites.

Friends and relatives who came to pay respect to the deceased on the first night of the funeral wake.
Family members chanting and praying with the Buddhist monks.

Visitors are given red threads or red packets containing a coin to ensure a safe journey home.  They are supposed to leave quietly, without saying goodbye to the deceased’s family.

Friends and relatives who came on the second night of the funeral wake.

The funeral procession.

Grandma was buried at Choa Chu Kang cemetery.

Rest in peace Grandma.



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