One-of-a-kind stamps gallery


  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 09 Jan 2019

Leong (in blue) flipping through his book ‘Buddhist Heritage: A Journey Through Stamps’ together with (from left) Ooi, Gin Soon, Ang, Eng Hock and Yeoh at YBMM headquarters in Seang Teik Road.

A STAMPS gallery, believed to be the first and only one in the world to feature a Buddhism-themed collection, has opened its doors since the New Year.

Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia (YBBM) set up the World Buddhist Stamps Gallery (WBSG) to preserve, exhibit and promote the stamps collection, depicting Buddhism, to the world.

Stamp donor Leong Kok Hing had donated his 40 years of Buddhism-themed stamps collection to YBBM in June.

Yeoh showing some of the stamps featured at the Buddhist stamps gallery in Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia in Seang Teik Road. (Top left and below) Closeup view of some of the stamps on display at the gallery. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star
Yeoh showing some of the stamps featured at the Buddhist stamps gallery in Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia in Seang Teik Road. 

Since then, YBBM members had been busy sorting out the stamps and setting up the gallery.

“Through this exhibition, the public can learn and understand more about the history, artists’ expressions, educational, political and cultural background of Buddhism,” said Leong, a 68-year-old retired teacher, said at the YBBM headquarters in Penang recently.

(Above and below) Some of the stamped featured f a stamp from China. (Right) ec 2018.
(Above and below) Closeup view of some of the stamps on display at the gallery.

The YBBM advisor also said that Buddhists could better understand their religion by studying the stamps which originated from Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Korea, Bhutan, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal and Afghanistan.

The avid stamps collector who started his hobby 40 years ago, said he used to collect normal stamps in the beginning.

“I began collecting Buddhism-themed stamps after embracing Buddhism.

Some of the stamps featured at the worlds first and only Buddhist stamps gallery in Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia at Seang Teik Road.Star Pic by : LIM BENG TATT / The Star / 28 Dec 2018.

“My initial aim was to hold my own exhibitions,” he said, adding that he had held four major exhibitions of his collections in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Taiwan.

Leong said he had to categorise his collection of stamps into seven different themes as it was quite tedious to go through the 5,000-odd stamps in his collection.

“With the advancement of technology, I learnt to scan my stamps in the computer and make them into a slideshow so that it would be easier for me to explain about the stamps to the public,” he said.

He had presented more than 200 talks about his stamps collection in Malaysia.

Hor (left) and Yeoh showing some of the stamps mounted on a frame for display at the gallery.
Hor (left) and Yeoh showing some of the stamps mounted on a frame for display at the gallery.

Leong’s first stamp was bought at a shopping mall in Japan and since then, he has made it a point to buy stamps whenever he goes overseas.

“There are around 350 Buddhism-related stamps in this first exhibition which is themed World Buddhist Heritage Through Stamps.

“Every four months, the gallery will hold a different themed exhibition including The Lord Buddha, Meeting Bodhisattvas, Buddhist Cultural Heritage, The Silk Road and 50 Buddhist Sites To Visit At Least Once in a Lifetime,” he said.

Leong’s vast collection of stampsthat are categorised into different themes are now on display at the World Buddhist Stamps Gallery at YBMM’s headquarter in Seang Teik road, George Town.
Leong’s vast collection of stamps that are categorised into different themes are now on display at the World Buddhist Stamps Gallery at YBMM’s headquarter in Seang Teik Road, George Town.

Leong has also published a book entitled ‘Buddhist Heritage: A Journey Through Stamps’ which includes photographs and explanations about the featured stamps.

The book costing RM120 will be available at the exhibition.

WBSG is located at the YBBM headquarters at 129, Seang Teik Road, in George Town, Penang.

Yeoh guiding a girl on a tour of the exhibits at the gallery.
Yeoh guiding a girl on a tour of the exhibits at the gallery.

The exhibitions will be held throughout the year and visitors can view the stamps’ details via an enlarged image.

Admission is free and the exhibition will be open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

Those interested can log on to www.wbsg129.org to register themselves for a one-hour guided tour of the gallery, which allows 25 persons each session. Walk-in visitors are also welcome.

Hor showing the book on Leong’s stamps collection entitled ‘Buddhist Heritage: A Journey Through Stamps’ which includes photos and explanation of stamps featured at the Buddhist stamps gallery in Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia in Penang.
Hor showing the book on Leong’s stamps collection entitled ‘Buddhist Heritage: A Journey Through Stamps’ which includes photos and explanation of stamps featured at the Buddhist stamps gallery in Yayasan Belia Buddhist Malaysia in Penang.

Also present at the press conference were YBBM chairman Datuk Ang Choo Hong, vice-chairman Tan Gin Soon, directors Tan Eng Hock, Yeoh Kia Gee and Ooi Ean Ping and exhibition art director Hor Kwei On.


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