History and Heritage Carved with Heart

loading Yeap Siew Kay with his Duke Hui Ze masterpiece.

With a sharp tool, a sharp sense of beauty and a sharp sense of history, Yeap Siew Kay works to ensure that one of Penang’s important crafts stays alive.

Traditions die hard, but once a traditional artefact or skill is gone, the extant works in that tradition retreat and assume “relic” status. So it is with the works of master craftsmen of traditional trades in places such as Penang if the skills are not passed down to apprentices who are in it for the long haul.

Traditional woodcarver Yeap Siew Kay, still sprightly at 69, realises the vulnerability of such intangible assets. He is willing to share the intricacies and secrets gained from 46 years of experience in cajoling, caressing and chiselling wood.


To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.



Related Articles

FEATURE
May 2016

HDB Republic: Housing, Homeownership and Heritage in Singapore

In the face of a rapidly changing urban environment, Singapore’s Housing and Development Board gets things right.

WINDOW INTO HISTORY
Jul 2016

The Tongkang – Symbol of the Entrepot Age

Once an iconic figure during Penang Harbour’s heyday,discover the crucial role of the lighters that shuttled between massive hulking cargo ships and the port.

WINDOW INTO HISTORY
Nov 2016

A Short History of Penang’s Malay Publishing Industry

The printing presses in Penang have been humming for over two centuries.