A UNIQUE artwork depicting the St. Jo’s heritage building in Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang, will benefit worthy causes to the tune of RM10,000.
It was jointly painted by six prominent local artists — Datuk Chong Hon Fatt, Khoo Cheang Jin, Koay Shao Peng, Koay Sheng Tat, Mei Chee Seong and Simon Tan.
The piece was auctioned off for charity during the opening ceremony of the A.H.A.! Arts, Heritage, Architecture exhibition currently on at the Chapel Hall of St. Jo’s.
FIABCI Malaysia, Penang Branch chairman Datuk Khor Siang Gin, who came up with the winning bid of RM10,000, said he was attracted by the beauty of the piece.
“It’s important for us to promote Penang’s heritage, and at the same time support local artists,” he said at the recent event.
The exhibition, which is organised by FIABCI Penang, also features around three dozen individual pieces by the six artists, all depicting heritage subjects.
A portion of proceeds from sales of these paintings, along with entire proceeds from the special auctioned piece, will be handed over to a chosen beneficiary to be announced at a later date.
Organising chairman Datuk Lim Mook San said Penang is blessed with history, and every nook or street corner, especially in George Town, has stories to tell.
“The people who came to Penang in years past made it a melting pot of diverse cultures. They built their businesses and homes here, and helped it thrive.
“The buildings that were constructed back then are more than just bricks and walls today, for they reflect the history and culture that was housed within.
“FIABCI, being a real estate organisation, is very much interested in the preservation of these structures, and we hope today’s exhibition will help raise awareness on their beauty and splendour,” Lim said in his speech.
Penang Tourism Development Committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang described Penang’s heritage buildings and monuments as glorious testimonies of the past, worth preserving for the future.
“These historical structures add charm and character to the neighbourhoods we live in. It is one of the reasons why George Town is regularly cited as one of the best places to visit and live,” Law said.
Siang Gin, Lim and Law, were later joined by FIABCI Penang advisor Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong and wife Datin Seri Seow Kim Fong, on a tour of the exhibition area.
The six artists also posed for photographs with their special painting which they completed in the morning before the ceremony.
Veteran artist Chong said they split the canvas into six sections for each to paint a different segment of St. Jo’s in their own style. All used acrylic paints.
“We took turns painting in trios. All of us have different styles, so the challenge was to make everything blend,” Chong explained.
The A.H.A.! exhibition continues until Sunday and is open for viewing from 11am to 6pm daily. Entrance is free.
The mall also hosted the 3rd edition of the Penang Coffee and Desserts Festival (PCDF) recently where some 50 exhibitors showcased vast varieties of exotic brews and innovative sweets.
It also featured the Arabica Estate Asia Latte Art Championship 2017, the French Desserts Plating Competition, a Food Truck Gathering Party, workshops and demonstrations.