At the George Town Waterfront Diorama




          
At the George Town WaterfrontAt the George Town Waterfront (2 November, 2013)






"At the George Town Waterfront" is a diorama masterpiece. A year in the making, it features a scene at the bustling waterfront of late 19th century George Town. The massive land reclamation of 1883 had extended the shoreline outwards, leading to the creation of a new waterfront named Weld Quay, after Frederick Weld.

At the George Town Waterfront, we see coolies labouring to shoulder the cargo from tongkangs, under the watchful eye of their stern overseers and supervisors. Further in, ricksaws carried wealthy passengers along.

Forming the backdrop is a row of stately mercantile buildings that house German and British trading companies. Their address runs from right to left (geographically, north to south), beginning with 1 Weld Quay, then 2 Weld Quay, and so on. As I write this, they are all well preserved buildings, many of which presently undergoing restoration. They are Boustead & Co, Schmidt, Küstermann & Co, Behn Meyer (which houses the Made In Penang Interactive Museum today), Schiffman, Herr & Company and Behr Brothers Trading Company.

"At the George Town Waterfront" is the work of master diorama sculptor Khoo Chooi Hooi. When Khoo was commissioned by the Made In Penang Interactive Museum to create a selection of dioramas, the museum never expected the magnitude of his ambition when he decided to depict a scene from the George Town waterfront during the late 19th century. In order to create the diorama, Khoo sieved through old postcards and photographs. He also took measurements of the buildings. The scene was created to scale at a ratio of 1:13. It measures about 10 meters in length. Material used include clay, polymer clay, wood, canvas and silicon.

The details in "At the George Town Waterfront" is a feast for the eye. Observant viewers will see, among others, a nasi kandar vendor, a European couple and even a kingfisher.

At the George Town WaterfrontShips arriving at the wharf, George Town Waterfront (2 November, 2013)


At the George Town WaterfrontCoolies umloading the bumboats, George Town Waterfront (2 November, 2013)


At the George Town WaterfrontCargo loaded to the wharf at the George Town Waterfront (2 November, 2013)


At the George Town WaterfrontCoolie resting at the George Town Waterfront (2 November, 2013)


At the George Town WaterfrontCoolie resting at the George Town Waterfront (15 April, 2014)


At the George Town WaterfrontChinese ear cleaner at work (15 April, 2014)


At the George Town WaterfrontBoats carrying cargo to the wharf (15 April, 2014)


At the George Town WaterfrontBullock cart carrying cargo away (15 April, 2014)


At the George Town WaterfrontMuhibah (15 April, 2014)


At the George Town WaterfrontKingfisher at the harbour (15 April, 2014)


At the George Town WaterfrontNasi kandar (15 April, 2014)

Return to Made In Penang's Dioramas and Made In Penang Interactive Museum

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