Friday, February 27, 2009
Malacca has a rich and colourful Peranakan history and culture. It takes the best from Chinese, Malay and European cultures. From beautiful phoneix and flower motifs on vases , dinner plates and tiles to ornate carvings on the windows of their houses. How charming and quaint.
I even bought a painting from a local artist that featured a row of Peranakan houses. According to the art gallery, the artist is a young lady who signs off as AHA ! It now hangs prettily in my living room wall. It was never my intention to buy a piece of art. All I was looking for were pineapple tarts but then things happen. AHA . A Happy Artist perhaps and of course a very Happy buyer.
While strolling down Jonker Street one afternoon in Malacca, I came across the charming Limau Limau cafe. "Limau" means orange in Malay though the walls of the cafe were painted in beautiful lime green. The place was adorned with many vintage pictures of cats and there was even a wall devoted to works ( for sale ) of local artistes from Malacca.
I asked the waiter to introduce a drink as there were just too many on the menu. I was pleasantly surprised by the concoction of lychees and papayas. It was damn delicious and since then , I have made my own version at home. Drinking it just reminds me of the brief yet wonderful moment I had in this cafe.
Malacca is a place I retreat to with my family during the school holidays. It is only 3 hours away from Singapore by car and it is here that I have spent many wonderful hours , enjoying moments of serendipity.
I was trying to find shelter from the rain one afternoon in June 2008 while walking through Jalan Chan Koon Seng. There I chanced upon a quaint and beautiful art gallery. What caught my eye were a few paintings of very vibrant colours, distinct style and texture. Here I was introduced to the paintings of Jehan Chan, one of Malaysia's most famous painters. His water color collage on crinkled rice paper, a technique he perfected in the '80s was truly beautiful. I stood there admiring the pictures and when I enquired about the price, I stood there admiring it furthur as it was way beyond what I could afford.
I learnt quite a bit of the artist from the lady at the gallery who turned out to be his daughter.