Timothy Tye
Marking George Town Steel Rod Sculptures


The Marking George Town Steel Rod Sculptures is a collection of caricatures placed on historic streets of George Town by the company, Sculpture At Work. The company on 29 March, 2010, won the design idea competition organized by the Penang State Government on 7 September, 2009.

The concept presented by Sculpture at Work is to relate the history and/or characteristic of selected streets in George Town using steel rod caricatures of local cartoonists. The reason is to make the history of George Town interesting and easily grasped by visitors and residents, the young and the old.

I have to admit that I have some reservations when Sculpture at Work brought out the concept of steel-rod caricatures to convey the street history of George Town. I had wanted something more elegant, like the fabulous Dioramas of Penang Scenes that they had created. However over time I slowly grew to like these cartoons.

Having said that, I do have a comment about them. I find the caricatures "too Chinese". Many of the tales are Chinese-centric, seen from Chinese eyes, perhaps because the cartoonists are Chinese. Even when a non-Chinese theme is depicted, it is through a Chinese perspective. For example Mee Goreng is described as Kelinga Mee. Don't get me wrong: I am proud of the Penang Chinese heritage and I work hard to promote the survival of Penang Hokkien. At the same time, however, I need to remind everybody that George Town is more than just a Chinese city. It had a cosmopolitan mix of Malay, Indian, Eurasian, and many other ethnic group long before the Chinese became the dominant group in the city.

I am happy with the caricatures that have been put up, and would not want them to be removed just because of what I've said. Rather, I hope that through the feedback I have given, Sculptures at Work will try to balance things by creating more caricatures that feature non-Chinese themes. This will definitely showcase the rich tapestry that is George Town.

List of Cartoonists Involved

Baba Chuah

Details

Lefty

Details

Reggie Lee

Details

Tang Mun Kian

Details

List of Sculptures

"Ah Quee?" Sculpture

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Location: Ah Quee Street
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Beca (Trishaw Paddler)" Sculpture

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Location: Chulia Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Born Novelist" Sculpture

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Location: Lumut Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Budget Hotels" Sculpture

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Location: Chulia Street
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Bullock Cart Wheel" Sculpture

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Location: Pitt Street
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Cannon Hole" Sculpture

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Location: Cannon Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Cheating Husband" Sculpture

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Location: Love Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Chingay Procession" Sculpture

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Location: Prangin Road Ghaut
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Cow and Fish" Sculpture

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Location: Fish Lane
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Double Role" Sculpture

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Location: Chulia Street Ghaut
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Duck" Sculpture

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Location: Che Em Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Escape" Sculpture

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Location: Acheen Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Gedung Rumput Wheel" Sculpture

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Location: Queen Street
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Gold Teeth" Sculpture

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Location: Queen Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Haj Pilgrimage" Sculpture

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Location: Acheen Street Ghaut
Artist: Baba Chuah

"High Counter" Sculpture

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Location: Carnarvon Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Ironsmith" Sculpture

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Location: Toh Aka Lane
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Jimmy Choo" Sculpture

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Location: Muntri Street
Artist: Baba Chuah

"Kandar" Sculpture

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Location: Ah Quee Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Kopi-O" Sculpture

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Location: Kimberley Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Labourer to Trader" Sculpture

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Location: Chowrasta Market
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Limousine" Sculpture

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Location: Carnarvon Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Mahjong Bird" Sculpture

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Location: Stewart Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Mr Five Foot Way" Sculpture

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Location: Transfer Road
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Narrowest Five Foot Way" Sculpture

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Location: Stewart Lane
Artist: Lefty

"No More Red Tapes (Happy Hour)" Sculpture

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Location: Transfer Road
Artist: Lefty

"No Plastic Bag" Sculpture

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Location: Prangin Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"One Leg Kicks All" Sculpture

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Location: Muntri Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Procession" Sculpture

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Location: Armenian Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Property" Sculpture

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Location: Victoria Street
Artist: Lefty

"Quiet Please (Street Fighters)" Sculpture

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Location: Church Street
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Retail Paradise" Sculpture

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Location: Campbell Street
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Rope Style" Sculpture

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Location: Rope Walk
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Rotan" Sculpture

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Location: Ah Quee Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Roti Benggali" Sculpture

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Location: King Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Same Taste, Same Look" Sculpture

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Location: Cintra Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Shorn Hair" Sculpture

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Location: Sungai Ujong Road
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Spy" Sculpture

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Location: Kampung Malabar
Artist: Reggie Lee

"The Main Street" Sculpture

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Location: Chulia Street
Artist: Lefty

"Then & Now" Sculpture

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Location: Armenian Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Three Generations (Char Koay Teow)" Sculpture

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Location: Sungai Ujong Road
Artist: Baba Chuah

"Ting Ting Thong" Sculpture

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Location: Seck Chuan Lane
Artist: Baba Chuah

"Temple Day" Sculpture

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Location: Muda Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Tok Tok Mee" Sculpture

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Location: China Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Too Hot" Sculpture

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Location: Weld Quay
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Too Narrow" Sculpture

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Location: Soo Hong Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Too Salty" Sculpture

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Location: Green Hall
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Untrained Parakeet" Sculpture

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Location: King Street
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Waterway" Sculpture

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Location: Prangin Road Ghaut
Artist: Reggie Lee

"Wrong Tree" Sculpture

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Location: Market Lane
Artist: Tang Mun Kian

"Win Win Situation" Sculpture

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Location: Muntri Street
Artist: Lefty

"Yeoh Only" Sculpture

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Location: Chulia Street Ghaut

Artist: Baba Chuah

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