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Malatang – a customisable regional street food comprising spicy broth, meats, vegetables and noodles – is a popular dish originating in Leshan, Sichuan province, China. Across the southwestern Guangdong region however, its flavour and composition differs according to the tastes of the local people.

When I was in Shenzhen, I went to eat malatang once every Sunday in the same restaurant. There, I saw everyone enjoying their food after they’d finished their work and their satisfaction was palpable. It was then that I had an idea to make a series of pieces to illustrate the most common scene: of diners in that moment. Each week, I would capture those moments with my lens, which I would later use to illustrate with my pen, using my own style.

Below are the results of that experience: a series of pieces capturing the most beautiful moment of people who were enjoying their food in a restaurant. It was an unforgettable experience.

Malatang series - A strong Lady with the bracelet
A strong lady with the bracelet.

Malatang  series - The waiter
The waiter.

Malatang series - A corner of the restaurant
A corner of the restaurant.
Malatang series -Friendship's dinner
Friendship’s dinner.
Malatang series - A scene from the restaurant
A scene of the restaurant.
Malatang - Playing mobile phone after eating delicious food
Playing with the mobile phone after eating delicious food.

Malatang series - The hectic day
The hectic day.

Zhigang Zhang is an illustrator from China and now based in London, UK. Hand-drawn observational images are combined with the digital in depicting characters, humans, landscapes, architecture, animals, food and humans, both individually and in crowds.

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