Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gat Lebuh Magazine's mural: Great tales on great wall of Penang

Finishing touches: Muhammad Hawari (left) and Ng working on their murals along Gat Lebuh Magazine in Penang.

GEORGE TOWN: After 13 months of hard work, six young artists finally completed the longest collection of wall murals here.

Last week, they finished painting the 13 murals on the 50.3m-long wall of the flood mitigation pump house along Gat Lebuh Magazine, facing the Lebuh Noordin low cost flats.

At the junction of Gat Lebuh Magazine and Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong where the murals begin, the artwork tells stories of Penang’s colonial past.

Towards the centre of the wall, art teacher Jim Oo Chun Hee, 26, capitalised on a small Chinese shrine and a large pipal fig or Bodhi tree growing out of the wall to depict scenes at the Goddess of Mercy Temple in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling.

“There is a local tale about a homeless mother and son who died in a village that had been here more than 60 years ago.

“The locals built this shrine to honour them,” he said.

Further down the stretch, glasswork artist Ng Yeong Sheng, 21, produced four graffiti art to express Penang’s aesthetic assets – festivities, heritage, shopping and hawker food.

“I like graffiti art. It lets me produce a message by adding elements without heeding reality such as fine art,” Ng said.

Hearing and speech-impaired artist Muhammad Hawari Hashim, 23, produced four murals to depict the future of Penang.

He painted semi-abstract murals of town scenes where trishaws co-existed with overhead railway transits and towering buildings.

His final piece, which ends the stretch, shows the wan tan mee stall at Jalan Chulia at night amidst a backdrop of skyscrapers.

Project leader Bowie Low, 40, said the murals depict a timeline of the history and culture of Penang as well as the artists’ vision of the state.

Low began his project last year when he went to see the state government officials with a proposal to gather local artists to paint the murals.

“George Town has acquired a global brand as a city of murals and I wanted an opportunity for young local artists to show their skills,” he added.

*Taken from The Star Online

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