Go back in time at this Ipoh gallery displaying vintage items of yesteryear


The Time Tunnel gallery has been opened to the public since 2017. — GISELE SOO/The Star

Walking through the Time Tunnel gallery in Ipoh, Perak is a fun experience, as one gets to re-live a time when things were simpler, through a collection of vintage items from as far back as the 1950s.

The gallery is the passion project of graphic designer See Kok Shan and his partner, who prefers to just be known as Koo.

Housed on the second floor of a century-old shophouse, it has been welcoming visitors since 2017.

“I hope that tourists will be able to learn about the history that made this beautiful old town at the gallery,” said Koo.

These are some of the various unique collections at the Time Tunnel gallery.These are some of the various unique collections at the Time Tunnel gallery.

As you walk up the stairs to the gallery, you will be led into a space bedecked with collectibles from the past. This place offers an array of antique pieces bought from vintage shops and flea markets from all over the country.

Some of the most fascinating items are an electric oven that’s said to be one of the oldest in Malaysia, and a few wooden school desks and chairs from the 1970s.

One of the oldest ovens in Malaysia.One of the oldest ovens in Malaysia.

From kitchen items to a sewing machine to kopitiam essentials, all the items are arranged in an orderly manner, so it’s easy to browse through everything, even though the place is packed.

There is even a corner set up to look like an old-school barbershop. Visitors should also check out the various cameras on display and see how cameras have evolved over the years.

“Some of them were donated by a former camera shop proprietor in Ipoh,” Koo said.

There are many photo-worthy spots here too.There are many photo-worthy spots here too.

Other unique finds include vinyls, cassette tapes and old advertising posters, as well as movie tickets!

There are wooden badminton racquets too, which are hanging from the ceiling at the entrance. “These were the same type of racquets used during the badminton championship tournament in 1970,” he said.

Remember back in the day when banks gave out adorable piggy banks to customers upon opening an account? Well, you will be sure to find such items at the Time Tunnel.

Unopened Pepsi bottles on display at the gallery.Unopened Pepsi bottles on display at the gallery.

Koo shared that See has been a collector for more than 25 years, and that the things are from the 1950s to 1980s. He added that he wants to keep the past alive so that the younger generation gets to have little glimpse of what life was like back then.

“It brings back a lot of memories for some of us, including myself, who have spent over 45 years in this quaint, vibrant mining town,” Koo concluded.

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