Tuesday July 24, 2012
Witty new attractions
THE George Town Unesco World Heritage Site steel rod caricatures are Penang’s latest tourist attraction.
Foreign and local tourists have been flocking to photograph the 24 witty sculptures installed all over the inner city in the last two years.
University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) student Liew Ngan Kai, 22, said it was trendy to take pictures with the sculptures and post them on the social media sites.
“My friends and I have been exploring the sites to photograph the sculptures as we’ve seen them on Facebook,” he said.
Liew was in Penang for a four-day trip.
Housekeeper Chong Choy Foong, 60, who lives in the heritage enclave, said George Town was now thriving with tourists stopping by to admire the sculptures.
“I see lots of tourists - especially young teenagers on bicycles stopping to take a closer look at these sculptures,” she said.
Canadian tourist Sydney Frank, 50, said the street art was unique.
“It’s the first time I’ve come across something so creative and interesting in Asia,” he said.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng launched the sculpture project yesterday.
He visited several sculpture sites on trishaw.
In his speech, Lim said the sculptures added colour to the city.
“Together with talented cartoonists like Baba Chuah, Lefty Julian Kam, Reggie Lee and Tan Mun Kian, ‘Sculpture At Work’ made this project a success.
Lim said the state government had spent millions of ringgit to encourage and promote the arts in George Town for that “wow-factor”.
He told a press conference that the state government and the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) were considering installing CCTVs at areas where the sculptures and Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic’s murals are located.
Lim appealed to the public and tourists posing for pictures by these artworks not to touch or vandalise them.
The sculptures installed since October 2010 under phases one, two, three and four were the Narrowest Five Foot Way (Stewart Lane), Win-Win Situation (Muntri Street), Kopi ‘O’ (Kimberly Street), No Plastic Bag (Prangin Lane), Property (Victoria Street), Untrained Parakeet (King Street), Mr Five Foot Way (Transfer Road), Wrong Tree (Market Lane), Cheating Husband (Love Lane), Limousine (Carnarvon Street/Carnarvon Lane), Waterway (Prangin Road Ghaut), Escape (Acheh Street), Bullock Cart Wheel (Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling), Cow and Fish (Malay Street/Fish Lane), Labourer to Trader (Jalan Kuala Kangsar), One Leg Kicks All (Muntri Street), Too Hot (Weld Quay), Jimmy Choo (Muntri Street/Leith Street), Three Generations (Kimberley Street/Sungai Ujong Road), Ting Ting Thong (Seck Chuan Lane), Tok Tok Mee (China Street/Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling), Too Narrow (Soo Hong Lane), Procession (Armenian Street) and Rope Style (Rope Walk).
Kam, a lecturer with The One Academy, said as a Penangite, he was proud to be a part of the project.
“My team and I did a lot of research to ensure that the sculptures are based on historical facts.
“We have to understand the unique background of every street and insert humorous elements to make it fun and memorable,” he said.
MPPP Planning Committee alternate chairman Felix Ooi Keat Hin said the target was to complete and install the remaining 25 sculptures under phases five and six by December.
“Under phase four, we still have three more completed sculptures (Same Taste Same Look, Kandar and Main Street) to install.
“We are still in discussion with the building owners so hopefully it can be done by next month,” he said.