Fine Chinese crafts on display

A visitor taking a closer look at a Ming-era rare horn carving depicting eight Taoist immortals crossing the sea.

THOSE with an interest in exquisite Chinese artefacts should put the new Art + Craft Museum in Penang on their must-visit list.

Located along Lebuh Acheh in George Town, it has some 256 exhibits on display across 3,000sq ft of space spanning three levels.

Highlights include intricate jadeite, Shoushan stone and rare horn carvings and jewellery from the Ming and Qing Dynasty periods.

The jadeite pieces range from landscapes to birds, flowers and vegetables, in various hues from vibrant greens, to rarer lavenders and pinks.

A Shoushan stone carving of camels from the Ming era.
A Shoushan stone carving of camels from the Ming era.

There are several cabbage pieces which are just as fascinating as the world-famous one at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.

Rare horn Buddhist bodhisattvas inlaid with old mine Fei Cui are sights to behold, as are black skin Tianhuang stone carvings.

Also on display are beautifully carved classical furniture like tables and chairs, made from red and yellow sandalwood, or centuries-old tree stumps and roots.

Museum owner Tiong Ngee Min said he and his family amassed the collection over a long period of time, and wanted to share its beauty and history with the world.

“All the artefacts displayed in the museum are from ancient China. It should be of interest to anyone who wants to understand and appreciate the artistic ingenuity of the Chinese people.

Feast your eyes on a vast collection of jadeite carvings in various hues.
Feast your eyes on a vast collection of jadeite carvings in various hues.

“Furthermore, many of them, especially the wood carvings, cannot be found anywhere else,” said Tiong, who is a pioneer in designing artistic tables and chairs from single pieces of tree stumps or roots.

His love for such works of art began in his childhood days growing up in the small town of Ayer Tawar in Manjung, Perak.

“The beautiful carved tables and chairs are my dream come true. In my factory, there are several hundred pieces waiting to be discovered.

“This museum is my way of sharing my passion for the beautiful things in life and to stimulate the mind of the beholder to appreciate them,” he added.

Besides the carvings, visitors to the museum can also expect to find Qing and Ming Dynasty print paintings, as well as Chinese republican ceramics.

The museum is located at 155, Lebuh Acheh and opens from 9am to 5.15pm daily (except Wednesdays). Entrance fees are RM30 for locals and RM40 for foreigners.

For more information, call 04-2622088, email to or look up Art + Craft Museum on Facebook.

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