Saturday, November 13, 2021

Art Gallery - Street Art Murals @ Campbell, Kuala Lumpur

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Street Art Murals @ Campbell, Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Dang Wangi (Campbell Road), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - November 2021
The art scene in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley is getting more interesting with this new Art Street @ Campbell right in the older commercial heart of the city. These murals were probably painted in the past two months.
While the street art at Kwai Chai Hong potrays life in KL's Chinatown during the British colonial era of the early 1900s; this one at another old corner of the city depicts life during the post-colonial era of the 1960s!

The artwork are located at Lorong Tuanku Abdul Rahman, a branch street of Jalan Dang Wangi (previously called Campbell Road, hence the name of this blog), running along the rear of the Campbell Shopping Complex.

This street can easily be located from afar as the Grand Campbell Hotel (which sits on top of the shopping plaza) has been painted in striking pixels of maroon red slowly fading into white.
Campbell Road together with the adjacent Jalan TAR were up till the early 1970s the shopping destination of the city. Campbell Shopping Complex, the nearby Robisons, and the surrounding shop houses, met the needs of shoppers during that era, before they were later upstaged by Pertama Shopping Complex, and later Sungai Wang Plaza and Bukit Bintang Plaza at the newer commercial business district of the city.

Okay, enough of the history lesson; let's look at the art work which are painted about a storey high along the rear wall of the shopping complex.
To give a sense of nostalgia, most of the painting have been rendered either in black & white or brown sepia tones, with pastel colored back drop - like this one of a rickshaw at the front of the Central Market when it was operating as a wet market. Rickshaws were then a favorite means of transport for the housewives. Unlike the trishaws (which can still be seen in George Town, Penang) which are pedaled, the rickshaw is manually pulled.
Here a rebuilt real-life rickshaw has been place in front of the mural to give it a sense of realness; the rickshaw puller is rendered in full color so that he stands out from the background.

The rickshaw prop is tourist friendly and can even tilt up - this AhPek can be seen pulling his darling seated inside 😜.

One of my favorites is that of the old Kuala Lumpur Train Station, showing passengers loading goods onto the old diesel train with the station with the train conductor and attendant wearing the old uniforms with songkoks.

One of my buddies emulating a passenger getting onto the train. Oops clothing seems a bit out of place, perhaps she should lose the helmet - but then we came straight from a cycling ride along the Chow Kit River of Life trails.

A classic looking mural of old Chinese colonial houses rendered in pastel pink and blue. The old  Vespa motor-scooter prop adds to the by-gone era feel.

My friendly models in action with the scooter!

An vintage car next to a bullock cart, both not seen often these days.

Yooooooo.... hooooooo!

A "Pawagam" (Malay for theatre) not only screen movies but alternates as a dance hall too for dangdut events.

On the left was a poster of P. Ramlee, one of the best known singer, composer and actor of the Malaysian music industry and Malaysian film industry.

The center of this mural was the "entrance" into the dance hall; while on both sides are posters of movies that was being screened at and adjacent cinema hall.
There were dangdut dance halls at the roof top of the Campbell Complexx, some older folks would probably recall dancing with the hostesses. The charge per dance was RM1 to 2, which was big money back then.

On the left was a mural "doorway" exit from the cinema hall. On both sides are posters of movies from that era, such as Si-Tanggang, Sergeant Hassan, Labu dan Labi, Abu Nawas, and Pendekar Bujang Lapok. Many of this movies were produced by Shaw Organisation and Cathay Organisation.

Colourful entrance steps leading to a Malay kampung house. These type of colourful stairs a often found in the houses from Malacca.

A combo scene with "Labu & Labi" running a local coffee stall, while their patrons sitting on a five-foot way can also some food from hand-carried kandar-stick stalls. The vendor would carry food-baskets hanging from two ends of the kandar stick.

A close-up view of their stall; Labu is played by Mohd. Zain while Labi is by P. Ramlee. This is a scene from the movie and can be seen from this Labu & Labi video clip.
In front of the mural is a real wooden cupboard with mock-up Malay kuehs, such as Curry Puff, Kueh Talam, Seri Muka, Kueh Lapis, etc., on display.

Next to the shop is a stall selling satay, with ketupat hanging from one "basket".
Timber stools props in front of the painting lends and air of authenticity.

Of course, the timber stools with draw tourists to sit and "sample" the food 😋.

At the far end, is another stall; I can't really tell what he is selling - could it be Nasi Kandar?
Oddly this stall seems to be in front of the Queen Victoria Fountain located at the nearby Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square); suggesting that back in those days the square was a hang-out for food while watching games being played in the field.

The last mural at the end of the street is one that bring make good memories of watching P. Ramlee's movies; one that also an impetus for cyclists. It's from the movie Seniman Bujang Lapok, and shows the three "bujang" (bachelors), cycling care-free on car-free kampung roads.

A close up of the three Bujang buddies; from left Ramli (played by P. Ramlee), Ajis (Aziz Sattar) and Sudin (S. Shamsuddin).

Here's a video showing the three buddies happily cycling to the video-song Menceceh Bujang Lapok (Bujang Lapok Bicycle Song).

Visitors can join the trio by hopping onto the carrier of a bicycle prop ridden by Sudin.

While appreciating these murals, go slightly afar to other nearby murals/artwork:

Rainbow bridges near the LRT Bandaraya (SP6) station at Jalan Raja Laut.
Top is the pedestrian bridge connecting to the station, and below is the arch road bridge connecting Jalan Dang WangiJalan Raja Laut to Jalan Kuching.
These colorful bridges reminds me of those we saw just outside Hsinchu while on a cycling tour of Taiwan.
Click on the following GPS coordinates - 3.15548, 101.69455 -  for a Google Direction Map to this place.

A colourful chameleon near the entrance to the Ship Restaurant at Perama ComplexJalan Dang Wangi. This is one of many artwork that now decorates electrical/telecommunication distribution boxes around the city.
Click on the following GPS coordinates - 3.15688, 101.69482 -  for a Google Direction Map to this place.

Spherical bollard painted with B&W city scenes, just outside the Sogo Department Store.
Click on the following GPS coordinates - 3.15671, 101.69582 -  for a Google Direction Map to this place.

A bright orange double-storey mural of a Indian-Muslim girl painted on the side wall of Roshni Bazaar on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, next to the Globe Silk Store HQ.
Click on the following GPS coordinates - 3.15373, 101.69664 -  for a Google Direction Map to this place.

Spidey, your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, clinging onto a wall near the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple.
Click on the following GPS coordinates - 3.14538, 101.69621 -  for a Google Direction Map to this place.

Next to it, one of his nemesis, the Green Goblin!

Location Map of Campbell Street Art Murals
(Click here for a link to this map)
Click on GPS coordinates for Google Direction Map: 3.15654, 101.6965.
(Click here for Google Street View)

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