Exhibition: A Celebration of Perak’s Built Heritage at Gallery Lim Ko Pi, Ipoh. Text: Law Siak Hong. Photographs: Dr Wong Yunn Chii (WYC) and Law Siak Hong
The much-anticipated exhibition and book launch opened to a very warm reception on Chap Goh Meh Sunday, the last day to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2013. This auspicious day is enough reason for dancing lions and a splash of red ginger flowers which decked the gallery.
Opening the proceedings, PHS President Mohd Taib Mohamed delivered his speech in “Oscar” style. Then, stirred by the beat of drums and gongs, a pair of lions began their energetic dance in the five-foot-way, before moving up to the gallery. After the dancing lions had presented the book for the launch, the UM-NUS students took over the proceedings. Photo-opportunities abounded. The crowd lingered well past the appointed time – a barometer of a successful event and a sure sign that our guests had enjoyed themselves and the refreshments. Most heart-warming was the excitement of the owners. Quite discernible was the sense of family reunion when they met the students who had “messed” around in their shophouses, now immortalised in the book. We hope they will keep and cherish the experience with pride.
That evening, students and lecturers were “sent off” with a farewell dinner, bringing a closure to the UM-NUS Joint Studio Programme in Ipoh. The work put in by the UM-NUS students was well-appreciated. But the credit goes to not only the students and their supervising lecturers from UM and NUS – you will have to learn their names from the book – but also to Dr Wong Yunn Chii, Head of Architecture Department, NUS, whose presence and enthusiasm had generated such positive vibes.
In summary, both locals and tourists were visibly and pleasantly surprised by this eye-opener of an exhibition. Seeing familiar streets and shophouses on the wall, local visitors had shared their untold stories of growing up in their hometown. We must, of course, register our thanks to the sponsors: Ministry of Tourism, Perak Office and National Heritage Department, who contributed to PHS’ hosting of the students and the exhibition. Thanks also go to the joint-sponsors of the lion dance: Harrison Hoong and Café Lim Ko Pi; the Yuk Choy High School lion dance troupe had added fun to the book launch. Last but not least, the Gallery Lim Ko Pi for venue sponsorship, and the management of Café Lim Ko Pi for actively promoting the exhibition to their customers. Notably, Teoh Chee Keong, a lecturer in the UCSI University, KL, came to the opening with a bus-load of his Architecture students. In Ipoh for field studies, Landscape Architecture students from the University Islamic International Malaysia had their work made easy – information on display fitted neatly into their work. Students from Sunway College and Yuk Choy High School Heritage Club also came. Most gratifying were the visits by town planners from both the Federal and the State Town and Country Planning Departments. We were informed that a study on Ipoh is in progress. Could this be part of the effort to get Ipoh listed as UNESCO world heritage site?
For those who missed out, the exhibition souvenir T-shirt is still available in sizes S, M, L, XL and XXL, all priced at RM30. To buy, contact Hong: 0175061875 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are sorry that all books have been sold. If you cannot get it at your regular bookshops, contact Hong and we will help get you a copy. The price is RM65, postage not included, unless, of course, you are a PHS member. See, membership does have its privileges.