The blog and weekly journal of South Australian artist, Elaine Cheng, as she travels through Adelaide, interviewing the local cafes and restaurants. Art, inspirations, and beloved products will be inserted here and there.



How time flies! It's almost July, which means my exhibition is only a month away. 

SENTIMENTS is an exhibition of my travelling sketchbook. If you've been following me on Instagram, you'll see that urban sketching and journal writing has become a big part of my work. I love having the ability to record what I see, hear, smell, and taste with my pen and paper. In this exhibition, I'll be taking you to three cities that have made a significant impact on my life.

The first of these cities is Shanghai, where I was born and raised.


With every returning visit, Shanghai has developed and grown to epic proportions. Skyscrapers, shopping malls, night life... but it's the old houses that have almost crumbled, the dirty street markets with their slippery floors, the street vendors pushing their make-shift carts in the early morning, and our cramped little two-room apartment, that I look forward to the most.  


There's nostalgia down every alley, around every corner. It rings with every school bell and every blast of the horn from those damned cars. I used to look at all these aspects of Shanghai with loathing and shame, but now, it has become my favourite thing about the city. It has a personality like no other.

The best food was always from the street carts or the tiny family stores that barely had any room to sit. They certainly weren't the cleanest of places, but the owners were the kindest of people, and it was the most genuine soul food: Made fresh on the spot with countless years of experience and practice; because it was their livelihood. 

Have you been to Shanghai? What's your most vivid memory?


I'll be bringing you more snippets as my exhibition draws closer. For now, you can stay updated by following me on Instagram



Venue: Magpie Springs (1870 Brookman Rd, Hope Forest SA 5172)

Date: August 2nd - September 20th

Opening: August 2nd at 2:00pm

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