Mural of Padungan artisanal kueh maker Aunty Goh completed


Goh also dropped by to have a look at the completed mural. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Feb 3): The mural of local artisanal kueh maker Goh Beng Choo, fondly known as Aunty Goh, on the wall of a shophouse at Jalan Padungan has been completed.

Painted by Sarawakian mural artist Leonard Siaw, the two-storey high mural depicts Goh in the process of making her signature ‘ang ku kueh’, which dotted the wall tantalisingly in very realistic form and colours.

When contacted by The Borneo Post today, Siaw said he feels nostalgic about the subject as traditional kueh are part of everyone’s childhood memories.

“We eat this type of pastry or kueh in our childhood. Regardless of how people view this mural, whether as a part of history, a story or a piece of art, it serves to remind people of these traditional skills and heritage that are passed down from generation to generation and slowly forgotten. We all eat ‘ang ku kueh’ but we don’t know the process.

“Personally I really appreciate their skills passed down through the generations, now it is Aunty Goh’s daughter doing it,” he said.

On selecting Goh as a subject of his artwork, Siaw said that a first-time visit to her kitchen inspired his choice.

“I decided to choose her as my subject for the mural after I met her and mingled around, and she showed me her tools and the process of making the pastries. She was pretty chatty and I enjoyed talking to her,” he shared.

Siaw was on site to give the mural a final touch-up. – Photo by Chimon Upon

Siaw also selected Goh as a subject because he could take a photo of her working her skills.

“I need to take photo of her under certain lighting that I want. To take the exact posture and the tool she is holding so that I compose it into a draft,” he said.

The work commenced in the second week of December last year and was completed sometime before Chinese New Year, although Siaw has given it some finishing touches in the past few days.

The mural is part of an ongoing initiative by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) to beautify the century-old street, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

Kuching South mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng said the council hoped to draw more visitors to Jalan Padungan with the murals serving as one of the attractions.

“The murals will be depicting the history of Jalan Padungan and we hope not only to attract tourists but also that the paintings will serve as an educational awareness for our younger generation so that they will not forget Padungan,” he told reporters when visiting the site of the mural in late December.