In July to August this year, I organised a project to raise funds for Australian Red Cross. The project was titled “Sponsor an Artwork in Malaysia” and was only open to a small group of my Facebook friends, and I thank those of you (from Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and England) who supported me and generously donated to Australian Red Cross. I have just made a final tally and we have raised $1699.60.
I made an artwork for anyone who pledged a donation. I captured the life and scenes in Malaysia during my 6-week trip to share my stories. All the pieces were completed on location. I travelled to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Kuantan.
Here are 15 pieces; the rest are in Part 2.
1) Daytime arts and craft market at the The Curve, a shopping centre in Malaysia. It was during the month of Ramadhan, so there were many Mustlim styled gowns being sold.
2) A mosque in a suburb near Kuala Lumpur, set against a blue sky. The little structure in front of the mosque is for a security guard. The residents in this suburb have decided to make their suburb safer, by pooling their resources and employing a guard. The guard has probably gone on his rounds (usually on a motorbike). The boom gate was open, probably because it was 1 pm, when kids leave school and the mosque is just across from a primary school.
3) A crooked house in the heritage area in Penang, Malaysia. See the rectangular bluish box on the bottom right? That is the letter “I”. Georgetown festival was starting soon, and the letters and numbers that make up “Georgetown Festival 2014” were scattered around the area for visitors to find and take photos…. BTW, I had a piece of work that my friends in Penang were organizing to exhibit in the festival
4) Komtar, the tallest building in Penang. This building is visible in many parts of the island.
5) Nagore Durgha Sheriff mosque in the Penang heritage area. I sat across this building sipping iced cold tea (Teh Tarik Ais) and left when the Muslim crowd came into the restaurant to break fast in the month of Ramadhan.
6) Temple entrance, or exit in this case since I was drawing from inside the temple grounds. This temple is lcoated in the heritage area in Penang.
7) Old houses in Penang – loads of character.
8) Same house as above in Penang – trying multiple versions.
9) A mosque on Jalan MacAlister, Penang.
10) Have you seen a papaya tree? This one is very furtile – look at those fruits! Many homes have papaya trees in their gardens, since they don’t take up much space.
11) A shop lot in the heritage area of Penang – I get lost in the details because I keep seeing those that are familar, and I want to capture them all. When I was growing up, we had folding gates like the one below, louver windows, and bamboo blinds too.
12) Another version of Komtar – this is the tallest building in Penang.
13) Nasi lemak – a dish many people know of, but this is the original. It’s coconut rice wrapped in banana leaf, with a slice of hard boiled egg, a slice or two of cucumber, sambal (hot chilli jam), crispy ikan bilis (small anchovies) and some friend peanuts. This is a very simple dish usually eaten at breakfast.
14) I think I miss kuih the most when I am in Melbourne. They are snacks – normally consisting coconut milk, flour, sugar – which are usually steamed.
I went out to buy some kuih with my sister today – of course no one can eat them until I have drawn them . Here are some watercolour kuihs. There are always new versions of kuih, so I can’t really tell you their names. But I can describe….lets start from the top. The round one is a little bit like sponge cake, slightly sweet. On the left, the green one has a firm coconut pandan custard on top of glutinous rice. The next two are tapioca cakes, then chocolate sponge cake (I am sure there is a local name for it) and finally the brown and white one with green speckles is like a firm jelly….
15) Another temple located in the Heritage area in Penang. Not all temples have the same roof design – this one has got 2 fishes on it’s roof.
More in the next post.