Local Hakka girl dances into artist’s heart


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 13 Feb 2016

Hakka dancing girl: The mural by Russian artist Julia Volchkova (right) is a testament to the thriving Hakka culture in Balik Pulau. — GARY CHEN/TheStar

BALIK PULAU: The Hakka Dancing Girl mural by Russian artist Julia Volchkova is a testament to the thriving Hakka culture in this rural town.

It depicts Hakka dancer Pang Yi Chuen, 25, doing a merry twirl. This 10m-tall and 12m-wide painting is on the exterior side wall of a pre-war house not far from the town’s roundabout.

Volchkova, 29, who has drawn several other murals in Balik Pulau dedicated to the local culture, finished her latest one yesterday.

“I have lived in Penang for about two years and met many Chinese friends who are Hokkien. But in Balik Pulau, I was surprised to find many Hakkas here so I started researching,” she said.

She went into the Penang Hakka Association headquarters in Burma Road and was mesmerised by a photograph of Yi Chuen doing a traditional Hakka dance with her three sisters.

Yi Chuen is the daughter of association president Datuk Pang Yun Tiam.

“I sent my daughters to China eight years ago to learn traditional Hakka dances. It makes me so happy that Volchkova sees beauty in our dance,” said Pang when contacted.

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