This year there is also another residency available in Penang - Cherrycake Studios. Tim Craker has also been a Rimbun Dahan artist in residence - he was a delight to meet in person, an hospitable host, and I also spied his distinctive artwork around George Town.
|View of the working space on the first floor, Cherrycake Studio.|
|Corner of Lebuh Armenian and Lebuh Cannon|
|Front verandah of the Blue Mansion|
|One of the original frescos on the wall in the Peranakan Museum|
|Content of a typical needlework box|
Chinese women were expected to embroider a pair of beaded shoes for their prospective mother-in-law as part of their dowry, as well as other accomplishments.
The area around Lebuh Armenian has become famous for its street art, in particular the paintings by Ernest Zacharevic. The wet season in Penang did not allow me to get around to see every one of them but there is a very informative brochure about the street art in Penang available as a guide.
|Kids on A Bicycle, Lebuh Armenian, Ernest Zacharevic.|
It was also hard to get a clear photograph due to the hoards of tourists taking their photos with the art.
My stay in Penang coincided with the opening of the new Batik Painting Museum (website currently under construction) at 19 Armenian Street. This Museum focuses on batik as a fine art, rather than as surface design for textiles, and has many paintings by the renowned Dato Cheah Thean Teng as well as other artists such as Khalil Ibrahim, as well as fantastic batik by Ismail Mat Hussin, Chuah Seon Keng and Ida Hadjar.
|Modern, light filled gallery of the Batik Painting Museum|
|Untitled (1994) by Ida Hadjar|
|Unfortunately not credited.|
Penang also has a lovely eclectic mix of old and new, with bowerbird-type gift shops springing up around Lebuh Cina, such as Gallery 29 owned by a Malaysian textile designer, Rebecca Duckett. She and her husband also own the renowned Tropical Spice Garden, which is a must on the Penang agenda. In colonial times Penang built its wealth on its trade in spices - mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, betel nut from the Pinang Palm - opium, tin and rice. The Tropical Spice Garden is an aromatic way to absorb this history, and they offer cooking classes too! Here is something I have eaten a lot of in kuih (cakes) since being in Malaysia but had no idea what it looked like - the Pandan plant.
|Pandan growing by the ornamental pond.|
|Kacang botol, or winged beans.|
sehingga minggu depan