“Sato draws like no one else is the world, it’s very unique.”
- Khoo Lye Huat
By profession, Dr. Sato is an architect and has worked in architectural design firms in Japan for 20 years. After obtaining his PhD in Engineering, he was associated with various universities in Japan and Canada as a professor. He is now a key member of the Penang Art Society. Dr. Sato’s drawings are currently exhibited in the Heritage Hotel, Penang.
I met Dr. Sato by pure chance, on a morning run in the fantastically historic and artistic city of George Town in Penang. I spotted him sitting under a bridge, sketching the city scape. A few meters later, I passed a woman doing the same. I jogged on for a while with the two of them on my mind, and on my way back I worked up the courage to say hi.
I’m so glad I did. Dr. Sato turned out to be an extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced architect and artist–the woman sat a few meters away drawing was his wife. Apparently they do that together every weekend. I can hardly imagine a sweeter ritual.
I told him about The Eat Team and asked if we could interview him. He invited us to join him at Penang’s Cultural Street Fair, where we got to see several of his finished paintings, meet some of his family and friends, and chat to him about architecture, living in Malaysia after retirement from Japan, and being a teacher.
I was mesmerized by the dreamy motion that Dr. Sato’s watercolour style gives off. He has a truly brilliant way of capturing the vibrance and energy of the bustling creativity that makes up George Town. Don’t you think?
Take it away, Dr. K!
Where are you from?
I’m from Japan.
How did you come to live here in Penang?
Conditions in Japan aren’t ideal after the natural disasters so we decided to relocate. I moved here 4 years ago to retire.
I was attracted the Georgetown because of the mix of buildings. The contrast between old and new structures is interesting. It’s a very multicultural place with a great atmosphere. I hope to stay here for the rest of my life.
So do you still have family back in Japan?
Oh yes, I have 4 children who still live there. They visit sometimes.
Do you ever go back to see them?
I hope to visit sometime soon to see my family and paint.
How do you choose what to draw or paint?
I used to be an architect so I like to draw buildings as I understand structures.
How long does each painting take?
They each take around 2-3 hours.
What materials do you use to create them?
I mainly use pencil, pen and watercolour.
Do you know many other artists here?
Yes. I sit and sketch with my Japanese friend every weekend in Georgetown.
For more information on Dr. Sato, please visit his websites:
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