Saturday, October 15, 2011

Preserving Kuala Lumpur Chinatown heritage with a Mural

If you are planning on going downtown to Chinatown this morning, you might want to drop by Jalan Sultan to witness history in the making or rather an activity on Chinatown heritage preservation.

In the wake of intended acquisition for the MRT project and the need to preserve century-old buildings in Jalan Sultan, The Star, in partnership with Dulux, is joining forces with a group of 50 artists on an art installation. Amongst the artists are Sharifah Zuriah, Syed Thajudeen, Tew Nai Tong and Philip Wong.

Their canvas will be the wall, near the carpark on Lot 49, Jalan Sultan, which was exposed since the demolition of six pre-war shophouses including the iconic Chik Sin Thong funeral parlour about 15 years ago.

The artists will start to paint from 9am. Members of the public are welcome to see them at work and to support the cause. Several sessions of heritage walks around Chinatown have been arranged, but participation is only on a first-come-first-served basis.

This badly-weathered wall will be the canvas for the artists today. Inset shows a worker engaged by Dulux painting the wall for the Jalan Sultan mural.

Source: The Star

Related article:
KL Chinatown Jalan Sultan Mural


  1. i like the video, showing all the photos of the past.. and thanks for sharing this, i might just drop by and take a look at the wall.. :)

  2. Great! Enjoy! Looking forward to some nice photos.

    SK, while you are at it, you may want to drop by Puduraya Terminal and check out the new place if you haven't been there since they re-opened.

  3. Good job on preservation.

    But I wonder how come the people at these shophouses never deem fit to spruce up their own environment before?

  4. lina,

    If I may offer a possible reason here...

    Cities change over time due to many factors which are not in the control of small business owners. Roads and public transit get built that take people elsewhere, new attractions appear in other areas, newer shops, entire shopping malls draw people away, the local ethnicity itself changes, moves, and so on. Keeping properties "spruced up" as you put it costs money. If outside forces are making business decline, business owners can't afford to keep pace.

    A society has to decide at what point the cultural heritage, which has value to everyone (IMHO) is worth a public investment to preserve. The free market does not always result in the best choices being made. The "invisible hand" of Adam Smith does not value art, culture, history, or community.

    Just my thoughts. Cheers.