Jalan Dang Wangi

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The Jalan Dang Wangi (Campbell Road) neighbourhood.

This collection of recent photos is taken in the areas surrounding Jalan Dang Wangi, Yap Ah Shak, Kemunting, Doraisamy and Raja Abdullah in Kuala Lumpur. The new urban development drive is turning this place into what is now a fashionable “Heritage Row”.

 

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In business terms, it is turning this location from a common ordinary place to live and bring up family into a speculative real estate site. This just means that it is now too expensive to live here. Many of the premises have been converted to themed bars and restaurants catering for the new rich urbanites.

 

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The architecture here is mostly two storey row shophouses or townshouse and were built in the 1930s and 40s. This was when the then Malaya was prosperous with tin and rubber. These structures were built with great understanding of the tropical climatic conditions. To keep off the sun it has high ceiling and thick brick party-walls. To keep off the rain it has generous roof eves and verandahs. To collect the wind it has air wells. All these elements come together to create a constant cross ventilation throughout the houses. These are sustainable building technologies which did not required high energy consuming devices like the air conditioners.

A letter of dissent

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Victor Chin’s letter of dissent, to the editor of the Malaysian newspaper, The Edge, was published in Options (Oct. 22, Issue 622). The letter referred to the piece by Veronica Shunmugan in Options entitled The art of being Jolly (Oct. 2, Issue 620) where artists Jolly Koh used discriminatory words like “Third World”, “feudalistic” and “impoverished cultural environment” to describe Malaysian artistic life.

Victor’s earlier letter, to the editor of the Malaysian newspaper, The Sunday Star, was never published. That letter also objecting to the same prejudice by the same artist, on the identical subject by the above mentioned writer while she was working for The Star.

These last 4 blogs ( Oct. 2, 10, 18 & 27 ) is a conversation about art and cultural life and how, there still exists, a lot of bias, bigotry and intolerance. Issues about cultures, races, ethnicity, religion, nationalism etc. are changing all the time. It also means changing how we view them. The less we see human kinds as them and us, the more we will get out of life.